lunar image of the month

december: shadow of the moon

On August 11th 1999 a large tract of Europe and Asia was treated to a spectacular solar eclipse, as the shadow of the Moon hurtled across the face of the Earth at nearly 2000 km per hour (1200 mph). Above the planet, Russia's Mir space station saw this remarkable view of the event.

Totality can only be seen by observers in the dark region at the very centre of the shadow. Further out, the depth of the shadow becomes progressively less, and observers will see a pertial eclipse with less and less of the Sun's disc obscured.

Image: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales.