Tag Archives: ISS

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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Well now, if it isn’t the International Space Station. To wit.

Using precise timing, the Earth-orbiting space platform was photographed in front of a partially lit gibbous Moon last month. The featured image was taken from Palo AltoCaliforniaUSA with an exposure time of only 1/667 of a second. In contrast, the duration of the transit of the ISS across the entire Moon was about half a second. A close inspection of this unusually crisp ISS silhouette will reveal the outlines of numerous solar panels and trusses. The bright crater Tycho is visible on the lower left, as well as comparatively rough, light colored terrain known as highlands, and relatively smooth, dark colored areas known as maria.

(Image: Eric Holland)

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It’s a NASA tradition for every ISS expedition to have its own commemorative group-shot poster.

As you’ll know from The Big Bang Theory, scientists love nothing more than a bit of sci-fi cosplay.

Except maybe science.

More at the NASA space flight awareness homepage.

That’s uncle Chris Hadfield (Exp 35) at the bottom there.

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