A Different Solar Eclipse View From The ISS.
Now that all the eclipse hype has died down you probably think it’s time to move on with your boring old non-eclipse life and get back to business. Nope! Now that the celestial event has wrapped up we get to gawk at all the awesome photos taken from all over North America, and even some particularly fantastic shots from the International Space Station. Obviously, viewing the eclipse from space is tricky business. When you’re on the ground, all you have to do is look skyward and, assuming you’re within an area that the moon’s shadow will hit, you’ll see what all the fuss is about. For astronauts aboard the ISS, location is equally important, and while the space station’s position wasn’t ideal for eclipse viewing, the crew still managed to snap some great photos. That big dark spot is (obviously) the shadow of the moon moving across Earth, blocking out the sun for anyone in its path. The extremely dark center is the spot of totality, where the eclipse is best viewed, while the lighter shadows are experiencing a partial eclipse.
It’s a great shot, but it actually pales in comparison to the photo captured way back in 1999 from Russia’s Mir space station during an eclipse (See Photo Below). The Mir happened to be in the perfect position to capture this glorious shot of the “bruised” Earth, and while the ISS wasn’t able to snag quite as nice of a photo, it’s still a really cool shot anyway.
The next total solar eclipse is slated to occur on July 2nd, 2019. Its path will take it across a huge chunk of the Pacific Ocean as well as a slice of South America, so the ISS will have another opportunity to capture eclipse gold very shortly.
Credit: Mike Wehner for BGR News 23 August 2017.