2017 Total Solar Eclipse from the Moon’s Orbit. Image: NASA
During the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter(1), or LRO, captured an image of the Moon’s shadow over a large region of the United States, centered just north of Nashville, Tennessee.
As LRO crossed the lunar south pole heading north at 3,579 mph (5760 km/h or 1,600 meters per second), the shadow of the Moon was racing across the United States at 1,500 mph (2414 km/h or 670 meters per second).
A few minutes later, LRO began a slow 180-degree turn to look back at Earth, capturing an image of the eclipse very near the location where totality lasted the longest. The spacecraft’s Narrow-Angle Camera began scanning Earth at 2:25:30 p.m. EDT (18:25:30 UTC) and completed the image 18 seconds later.