Solar eclipse
The GIF image depicts the moon passing over the Sun Nasa

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has captured the moon passing across the sun, creating a partial solar eclipse in space. The SDO is one of Nasa's fleet of sun-watching observatories monitoring the sun's solar activity.

The image was released by the space agency on 26 May. The transit lasted almost an hour, with the moon covering about 89% of the sun at the eclipse's peak. The eclipse began on 25 May at 2.24pm ET (18:24 GMT) and ended at 3.17 pm ET (19:17 GMT).

"While the moon's edge appears smooth in these images, it's actually quite uneven," says Nasa. "The surface of the moon is rugged, sprinkled with craters, valleys and mountains. Peer closely at the image, and you may notice the subtle, bumpy outline of these topographical features."

The agency says this partial eclipse it just a teaser for what's in store on 21 August when the moon will completely block the sun in a total solar eclipse. The eclipse will be completely visibly from 19 states in the US and partially from rest of the world. The SDO will also capture the eclipse but only a partial view will be visible.

The SDO was launched in 2010 by Nasa to monitor sunspots and solar activity. The satellite stares at the sun 24/7, recording high-definition views of the sun's atmosphere in detail. The SDO aims to provide insights on the sun's magnetic field along with shedding light on how energy is transferred from the sun into space.