Just what does a solar observatory in orbit see when the moon moves right between it and the sun? These pictures of a partial eclipse of the sun, from way, way up close, answer that question.

Images: NASA / SDO

It's called a lunar transit, and it happens when the moon overlaps, but doesn't completely eclipse the sun, as you can see in the pathway GIF below. This most recent view was snagged by the Solar Dynamics Observatory just a couple days back, but it's a view they see a few times a year. Here's the first one we saw this year in video form:


Take special note of the crispness of the line of the moon as it traverses the sun — it's a view you'll never quite get from Earth, where our atmosphere gives a slightly more muddled view.