Breathtaking look at a solar eclipse in spaceS

Back on January 4, the Moon moved in front of the Sun, almost completely blocking our view of the Sun back on Earth. The Japanese-American Hinode satellite snapped this absolutely incredible photo of the eclipse from up in space.

This particular type of eclipse is known as an annular solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon's relative size isn't quite big enough to blot out the Sun entirely. This leaves a bright ring visible, known as an annulus. NASA explains how they got the shot:

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 solar telescopes to further our understanding of the solar atmosphere and turbulent solar eruptions that can impact hardware and life on Earth.

Via NASA.