What would the Earth look like from space during a solar eclipse? I wondered the same, and came across two incredible images. Note that the moon’s shadow darkens only a part of Earth during a solar eclipse. People underneath the center of the dark spot (the umbra) will see the total eclipse; while others on the edge (the penumbra) will see a partial eclipse. This shot was taken from the Mir space station in August 1999 and is courtesy the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales.

earth eclipse

The image below is from the Japanese geostationary satellite (MTSAT) and shows the view of Earth at 9:30 a.m. local time in Taiwan, near the time in eastern China when the disk of the Moon completely overlapped the disk of the Sun. (source Wikimedia Commons).

earth eclipse

Mr. Eclipse
provides a great infographic which explains the geometry behind a solar eclipse, including the umbra and penumbra described above.

solar eslipse geometry explained