- Cameron pledges to 'expand' tax cut for married couples in bid to win back disgruntled Tories
- What hand-some pictures! British couple travel the world taking photos of 'thumbs up' in front of every major landmark
- Negotiators race deadline in Iran talks
- Yemeni warplane fleet destroyed in raids, Saudis say
- 100 British commercial pilots have history of depression: But experts say there should be 'no rush' to change rules on who can fly
- The hellish task of identifying 149 victims: 600 body parts removed from site as it emerges killer co-pilot's remains have already been found
- Plied with alcohol and crack cocaine...then sold for sex: Desperate mother of 12-year-old victim of Oxford grooming gang reveals how she pleaded for help - but social services ignored her
- Amanda Knox to return to ITALY and write a book on the country's legal system after being cleared of death of Meredith Kercher
- Killer co-pilot Andreas Lubitz dreamed of flying a Boeing 747 which can carry up to 660 people
- Head teachers to report parents to police and social services if they let their children play Grand Theft Auto or Call of duty
Nasa spacecraft watches two breathtaking eclipses of the Sun by the Earth and the Moon in less than seven hours
More from UK
- Fuchsia Seraphine Dress Worn by Kate Only Costs $79
- Kenny Sansom Admits He's a Homeless Alcoholic Who Sleeps on a Park Bench
- Mothers' Groups Hail Kate's Decision Not to Hide Her Post-Baby Bump
- Body of missing 2-year-old found by police a day after he wandered off while playing with his brother
- A Summery Pippa Middleton Dresses the Part in Ladylike Florals at Coronation Festival
- The Solar Dynamics Observatory is in the midst of its biannual eclipse season when its orbit puts the Earth between it and the Sun
- The first image shows the Earth transiting the Sun, with a fuzzy outline caused by light shining through the atmosphere
- The moon's transit appears much clearer, since the natural satellite has no atmosphere to break up its outline
By Damien Gayle
PUBLISHED: 06:25 EST, 12 March 2013 | UPDATED: 06:58 EST, 12 March 2013
These breathtaking pictures show the Earth and the moon eclipsing the Sun as seen from the Nasa spacecraft which studies the star at the centre of our solar system.
Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured the awe inspiring pictures as it observed transits by both our planet and its natural satellite on Sunday night to Monday morning.
The SDO entered its biannual eclipse season at the beginning of March, a period of three weeks when Earth blocks its view of the sun for a period of time each day.
Breathtaking: In this image taken by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory the view of the Sun is blocked by the Earth. The boundaries of Earth's shadow appear fuzzy, since SDO can see some light through the atmosphere
Earth blocked SDO’s view of the sun from about 10.15pm to 11.45pm GMT on Sunday night. Later, from around 3.30am to 4.45am Monday morning, the moon moved in front of the sun for a partial eclipse.
When Earth blocks the sun, the boundaries of Earth’s shadow appear fuzzy, since SDO can see some light from the sun coming through Earth’s atmosphere.
The line of Earth appears almost straight, since Earth - from SDO’s point of view - is so large compared to the sun.
The eclipse caused by the Moon, by contrast looks very different.
Awe-inspiring: This image, taken just a few hours later, shows the view as the moon moves in front of the SDO's view of the Sun. Since the moon has no atmosphere, and the line of its shadow is crisp and clean
Since the moon has no atmosphere, its curved shape can be seen clearly, and the line of its shadow is crisp and clean.
Any spacecraft observing the Sun from an orbit around Earth has to contend with such eclipses, but SDO's orbit is designed to minimize them as much as possible, with only two three-week eclipse seasons each year.
The 2013 spring eclipse season continues until March 26. The autumn season will begin on September 2.