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See the moon's shadow on Earth from the 'ring of fire' solar eclipse in amazing space views – Space.com

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A “ring of fire” solar eclipse crossed over Africa and Asia this weekend, and the view from space was spectacular.

A NASA astronaut living and working in space and a host of weather satellites all spotted the dramatic event as the moon’s shadow passed over Earth’s surface. Although the solar eclipse wasn’t visible from North America, it did happen to coincide with the U.S. celebration of Father’s Day on June 21.

“Super cool view of the Annular Solar Eclipse which passed by our starboard side as we flew over China this morning,” NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy wrote on Twitter. “A pretty neat way to wake up on Father’s Day morning! Hoping all of the dads in the world have a wonderful day!” 

Related: ‘Ring of fire’ solar eclipse of 2020 wows skywatchers across Africa, Asia

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy shared four photographs of the annular solar eclipse as seen from the International Space Station on June 21, 2020. (Image credit: NASA)

A “ring of fire” or annular eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. But, unlike during a total solar eclipse, the moon isn’t close enough to Earth to block out all of the sun’s visible disk.

Instead, a thin ring of the sun’s disk remains visible around the moon’s shadow even at the midpoint of the eclipse, hence the phenomenon’s nickname.

But from space, an annular eclipse appears very similar to a total solar eclipse, and astronauts and satellites can spot the phenomenon by looking for a round shadow dancing across Earth’s surface.

That’s precisely what Cassidy saw from his vantage point as one of five astronauts living and working on the International Space Station, where he arrived in April. At the time, the space station was passing about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.

Other space views of the eclipse show a much higher-altitude recap of what occurred. Russia’s Elektro-L No.2 weather satellite spotted an interplay of shadows during the event, for example.

The satellite, which launched in 2015 and is one of three identical monitoring stations, was orbiting at an altitude of 22,000 miles (36,000 km), according to a statement from the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Other weather satellites got in on the eclipse-watching action as well. Japan’s Himawari-8 satellite and Europe’s Meteosat-8 each followed the moon’s shadow across Asia and Africa. 

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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UAE's Mars orbiter launch from Japan delayed by weather – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com

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TOKYO – The liftoff of the United Arab Emirates’ Mars orbiter was postponed until Friday due to bad weather at the Japanese launch site.

The orbiter named Amal, or Hope, is the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. The launch was scheduled for Wednesday from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan, but the UAE mission team announced the rescheduled date on Twitter.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-IIA rocket will carry UAE’s craft into space. Mitsubishi launch official Keiji Suzuki had said on Monday a postponement was possible as intermittent lightning and rain were forecast over the next few days.

Heavy rain has fallen for more than a week in large areas of Japan, triggering mudslides and floods and killing more than 70 people, most of them on the southern main island of Kyushu.

Hope is set to reach Mars in February 2021, the year the UAE celebrates 50 years since its formation. A successful Hope mission would be a major step for the oil-dependent economy seeking a future in space.

Hope carries three instruments to study the upper atmosphere and monitor climate change and is scheduled to circle the red planet for at least two years.

Emirates Mars Mission Project Director Omran Sharaf, who joined Monday’s briefing from Dubai, said the mission will provide a complete view of the Martian atmosphere during different seasons for the first time.

Two other Mars missions are planned in coming days by the U.S. and China. Japan has its own Martian moon mission planned in 2024.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

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UAE’s Mars orbiter launch from Japan delayed by weather – 570 News

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TOKYO — The liftoff of the United Arab Emirates’ Mars orbiter was postponed until Friday due to bad weather at the Japanese launch site.

The orbiter named Amal, or Hope, is the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. The launch was scheduled for Wednesday from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan, but the UAE mission team announced the rescheduled date on Twitter.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-IIA rocket will carry UAE’s craft into space. Mitsubishi launch official Keiji Suzuki had said on Monday a postponement was possible as intermittent lightning and rain were forecast over the next few days.

Heavy rain has fallen for more than a week in large areas of Japan, triggering mudslides and floods and killing more than 70 people, most of them on the southern main island of Kyushu.

Hope is set to reach Mars in February 2021, the year the UAE celebrates 50 years since its formation. A successful Hope mission would be a major step for the oil-dependent economy seeking a future in space.

Hope carries three instruments to study the upper atmosphere and monitor climate change and is scheduled to circle the red planet for at least two years.

Emirates Mars Mission Project Director Omran Sharaf, who joined Monday’s briefing from Dubai, said the mission will provide a complete view of the Martian atmosphere during different seasons for the first time.

Two other Mars missions are planned in coming days by the U.S. and China. Japan has its own Martian moon mission planned in 2024.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press

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UAE postpones Mars mission due to weather at Japan launch site – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Lisa Barrington

DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates has postponed to July 17 the launch of its mission to Mars due to weather conditions at the launch site in Japan, the UAE government communications office said on Tuesday.

The UAE’s Hope Probe was due to set off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center at 12:51am UAE time on Wednesday (2051 GMT Tuesday) for a seven-month journey to the red planet where it was due to orbit and send back data about the atmosphere.

“The UAE’s space mission, the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, will launch on Friday July 17, 2020 at 12:43am UAE time (July 16, 2020 at 8:43pm GMT) from Tanegashima Space Center,” the government communications office tweeted.

There are currently eight active missions exploring Mars; some orbit the planet and some land on its surface. China and the United States will send another two this year.

The UAE, an oil-exporting nation, first announced plans for the mission in 2014 as part of efforts to diversify away from hydrocarbons and develop a knowledge economy, aiming to reach the planet by 2021.

With a population of 9.4 million, most of whom are foreign workers, the UAE lacks the scientific and industrial base of the big space-faring nations. It launched a National Space Programme in 2017 to develop expertise in space science among Emiratis.

Emirati Hazza al-Mansouri became the first Arab in space in September 2019 in a flight to the International Space Station.

To develop and build the Hope Probe, Emiratis and Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) worked with U.S. educational institutions with space science expertise.

The UAE government has announced an ambitious goal of a Mars settlement by 2117.

(Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Ed Osmond)

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