This year's solar eclipse was first visible from the northeastern Republic of Congo and then eastward across Africa and Asia.
Solar Orbiter was made in Europe, along with nine science instruments. NASA provided the 10th instrument and arranged the late-night launch from Cape Canaveral.
The Parker Solar Probe will fly straight through the outer solar atmosphere to eventually get within 6 million miles of the sun's surface, allowing scientists to vicariously explore the sun in a way never before possible.
Technically, the equinox occurs when the sun comes in alignment with the equator. Tourists visited the Temple of the Moon and the Temple of the Sun outside of Mexico City to welcome the start of spring.
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