On An Otherwise Spotless Sun…

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Aggh! It’s a TIE fighter. No wait, it’s a sunspot. No wait, it’s the International Space Station. But what’s it doing on the Sun? To wit:

Transiting the Sun is not very unusual for the ISS, which orbits the Earth about every 90 minutes, but getting one’s timing and equipment just right for a great image is rare. Strangely, besides that fake spot, in this recent two-image composite, the Sun lacked any real sunspots. The featured picture combines two images — one capturing the space station transiting the Sun — and another taken consecutively capturing details of the Sun’s surface. Sunspots have been rare on the Sun since the dawn of the current Solar Minimum, a period of low solar activity. For reasons not yet fully understood, the number of sunspots occurring during both the previous and current solar minima have been unusually low.

(Image: Rainee Colacurcio)

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7 thoughts on “On An Otherwise Spotless Sun…

  1. Slightly Bemused

    Dark side of the Sun.

    Lovely picture, thanks. I could never get good solar pics so ones like this are lovely.

  2. Liam Deliverance

    Wonderful picture, images like this are deeply thought provoking, the sun almost shimmers too.

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