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Watch the Moon Yo-Yo Across the Sun in This Bizarre Video

Don't panic; the solar system is not falling apart, despite the strange dance on display in this incredible footage captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Sure, the video appears to show the moon crossing the sun's face and then doubling back, like a celestial yo-yo – but that's just a matter of perspective. The phenomenon in the video is actually caused by the relative orbits of the spacecraft and the moon around Earth . You can see similar visual trick with neighboring cars on a highway: Picture your car speeding up relative to a nearby vehicle, which then appears to move backward. It doesn't actually reverse, of course; Related Articles The Sun in HD in Amazing Solar Dynamics Observatory Photos With the spacecraft, this phenomenon is about ] orbit size instead of speed. The SDO is orbiting much closer to Earth than the moon. That means every once in a while, they just align, with the SDO briefly traveling directly to the moon. Then, it turns into its relatively tight orbit around Earth, even as the moon in its much more distant orbit, continues to swing across the sky. A depiction of the orbital dynamics that produces the apparent yo-yo motion of the moon across the sun's face. As the spacecraft "turns the corner" into its orbit compared to the moon, the skewed perspective causes the moon to appear to reverse course. (Image: © NASA / SDO) doubling back across the sun, in other words &#821 1; it actually…

Don’t panic; the solar system is not falling apart, despite the strange dance on display in this incredible footage captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

Sure, the video appears to show the moon crossing the sun’s face and then doubling back, like a celestial yo-yo – but that’s just a matter of perspective. The phenomenon in the video is actually caused by the relative orbits of the spacecraft and the moon around Earth .

You can see similar visual trick with neighboring cars on a highway: Picture your car speeding up relative to a nearby vehicle, which then appears to move backward. It doesn’t actually reverse, of course; Related Articles The Sun in HD in Amazing Solar Dynamics Observatory Photos

With the spacecraft, this phenomenon is about ] orbit size instead of speed. The SDO is orbiting much closer to Earth than the moon. That means every once in a while, they just align, with the SDO briefly traveling directly to the moon. Then, it turns into its relatively tight orbit around Earth, even as the moon in its much more distant orbit, continues to swing across the sky.

A depiction of the orbital dynamics that produces the apparent yo-yo motion of the moon across the sun’s face. As the spacecraft “turns the corner” into its orbit compared to the moon, the skewed perspective causes the moon to appear to reverse course.

(Image: © NASA / SDO)

doubling back across the sun, in other words &#821

1; it actually shows the spacecraft’s perspective doubling back in its own orbit around Earth.

. The moon blocks up to 82 percent of the sun’s disk during the crossover .

The SDO has been a geosynchronous orbit since 2010 when it studies the sun in a range of wavelengths.

Email Meghan Bartels at [email protected] or follow her @meghanbartels . Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook .

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