The moon’s shadow on Earth yesterday

During a total solar eclipse, the moon’s shadow sweeps across Earth. Those in the shadow’s path see the total eclipse. Those outside the path of the shadow may see varying stages of a partial eclipse.

The whole globe of Earth, with a dark blot in the Pacific west of South America.

The dark blot on Earth in the lower left of this image is the moon’s shadow, falling on Earth at the start of the December 14, 2020 total solar eclipse, visible from South America. Image via GOES-East satellite/ Fred Espenak.

“Here comes the moon’s shadow!” wrote veteran eclipse-chaser Fred Espenak, when he posted this image yesterday on Facebook. There was much disappointment this year among North American eclipse-chasers who’d planned all year to see the December 14, 2020, total solar eclipse, but had to cancel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

There will be more eclipses, including a total solar eclipse whose path will cross North America in 2024. Fred Espenak has compiled an extensive roadmap for the 2024 eclipse.

Bottom line: Photo from GOES-East of the moon’s shadow on Earth during the December 14, 2020, total solar eclipse.

EarthSky’s lunar calendar shows the moon phase for every day in 2021. Order yours before they’re gone! Makes a great gift.

Deborah Byrd