Belfast Telegraph

Solar eclipse image 'from International Space Station' is fake

You may have spotted this amazing photo of today's eclipse purportedly from the International Space Station on your Twitter or Facebook feed.

However the stunning image is a fake. But it wasn't created in Photoshop.

As Gizmodo points out, the image was originally created by a DevianArt user known as ‘A4size-ska’.

The image took 38 hours to create using an image rendering programme called Terragen 2.

A high resolution version of the original is here.

Actual photographs of today's eclipse are in the gallery below.

Meanwhile researchers at the University of Reading will be studying reports from an army of "citizen scientists" recruited to help them study eclipse weather - changes in the atmosphere caused by the sun's rays being temporarily blocked out by the moon - for the National Eclipse Weather Experiment (NEWEx) .

There are anecdotal reports of an "eclipse wind" - a breeze that appears as a solar eclipse reaches its peak - and breaks in the cloud appearing as the atmosphere cools.

Professor Giles Harrison, head of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, who is leading the experiment, said: "We are effectively turning the skies of Britain into a giant weather lab, giving us a rare chance to see what happens when you 'turn down the sun'.

"This will give us a precious insight into how the sun influences the clouds and wind, as well as more obvious effects, such as temperature. By improving our understanding of how the weather works, we're better able to predict it, meaning scientists can further improve weather forecasts."

The amateur observations will be combined with other data to provide the most detailed picture of the weather effects of an eclipse yet assembled.

Total solar eclipses can be seen somewhere on Earth every 18 months on average, but are considered rare events that recur at any given location just once every 360 to 410 years.

Solar eclipses occur when the Earth, moon and sun are precisely aligned so that the moon's shadow touches the Earth's surface.

During the eclipse, the moon's shadow raced across the Earth at around 2,000mph.

The eclipse produced a 100-mile-wide "totality" shadow path that crossed the North Atlantic and covered only two land masses, the Faroe Islands between Scotland and Iceland, and the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.

Only observers along this path were able to witness the glory of a total eclipse, when the sun is completely covered, revealing its shimmering corona atmosphere as day is turned into night.


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