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The September 9-10 Double Lunar Transits

7 Sep 2018, 19:35 UTC
The September 9-10 Double Lunar Transits
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SDO will experience a double lunar transit on September 9 and 10, 2018. Here is a movie from the Flight Operations Team that shows SDO, the Sun, and the Moon during the transits. During the first transit, from 2030-2130 UT (4:30-5:30 pm ET) on September 9, the Moon will cover up to 92% of SDO's view of the Sun. The second transit lasts from 0152-0241 UT on September 10 (or 9:52-10:41 pm ET on September 9 for those of us on the East coast of the USA.) Only 34% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. The Moon moves from left to right during the first transit and right to left for the second. The first transit is caused by SDO overtaking the Moon as SDO moves in the afternoon part of its orbit. (SDO orbits over the Mountain Time Zone of the USA.) SDO's velocity of about 3 km/s is faster than the Moon's of 1 km/s and SDO overtakes and moves past the Moon-Sun line. The second transit happens after SDO has moved into the evening part of the orbit and is now moving mostly away from the Moon in SDO's orbit around the Earth. The ...

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