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mercoledì 7 giugno 2017

DOUBLE SOLAR ECLIPSE ON JUPITER: Millions of people are looking forward to a total eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21, 2017. That's nothing. Jupiter just had TWO solar eclipses at the same time. On June 3rd, Ed Lomeli of Sacramento, California, video-recorded the shadows of Io and Ganymede lancing across the giant planet's cloudtops:

Within those dark circular shadows, Jovian day turned to night as the moons overhead blocked the sun. Two total eclipses were underway at the same time.
Envious Earthlings can take solace: Eclipses on Jupiter aren't nearly as beautiful as they are on our planet. Here on Earth, the Moon and sun are almost precisely the same size--an incredible coincidence that produces phenomena such as Baily's Beads and the Diamond ring. When the disk of the sun is so precisely covered, we can see the ghostly tendrils of the sun's outer atmosphere (the corona) shimmering across the sky.

On Jupiter, however, local moons appear to be much larger than the distant sun. Io, for example, is 6 times wider than the solar disk; it completely swallows the sun's corona. This mismatch in size mitigates the beauty of the occasion. The best eclipses are homegrown, after all.


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