So, I guess a) the world is really ending, b) someone has an awesome satellite, c) Sauron is back, or d) all of the above. I don't care. This is the most amazing view of a solar eclipse. And here's video:
Here's NASA description, courtesy of our friend Rebecca at NASA Goddard:
On January 4, the Hinode satellite captured these breathtaking images of an annular solar eclipse. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon, slightly more distant from Earth than on average, moves directly between Earth and the sun, thus appearing slightly smaller to observers' eyes; the effect is a bright ring, or annulus of sunlight, around the silhouette of the moon. Hinode, a Japanese mission in partnership with NASA, NAOJ, STFC, ESA, and NSC, currently in Earth orbit, is studying the Sun to improve our understanding of the mechanisms that power the solar atmosphere and drive solar eruptions.
Hinode, launched in September 2006, uses three advanced optical instruments to further our understanding of the solar atmosphere and turbulent solar eruptions that can impact hardware in orbit and life on Earth.
The image is truly amazing. And it looks the scientists were right, looking at all those holes: The Moon is made of cheese. [NASA Goddard]