NASA solar observatory captures spectacular double eclipse (VIDEO)

The Earth's fuzzy edge and moon's crisp silhouette revealed the sun during this week's eclipse. © NASA
A rare double eclipse was captured by NASA this week when both the Earth and the moon blocked the sun from the view of their Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

Not to be outdone by the spectacular “Ring of Fire” eclipse witnessed earlier in the week across eastern and southern Africa, the SDO captured the brief moment when the Earth revealed the sun to the orbiting satellite just as the moon also blocked its view.

Earth comes between the SDO and the sun briefly on a daily basis as a consequence of following the planet’s rotation. On Thursday, both the Earth and the moon’s eclipse coincided for a brief, but beautiful moment.

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The shadows of the Earth and the moon can be spotted separately - with the Earth’s atmosphere absorbing light from the sun producing a fuzzy edge. Lacking an atmosphere, the moon’s horizon is crisp with little diffusion.

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NASA’s SDO has been observing the sun since 2010, studying its magnetic field and magnetic energy produced by the star.

Earlier in the week, the moon passed between the Earth and the sun, producing an annular eclipse known as a "Ring of Fire," which was visible to lucky people in parts of Africa and islanders in the Indian Ocean.