International Space Station Solar Transit

The International Space Station Transits the Sun (© Martin Wagner)
The International Space Station Transits the Sun (© Martin Wagner)

Sometimes the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is just too hard to pass up. Yesterday’s APOD features our sunspot-less Sun with a strange shape in the lower left-hand side of the image. On closer inspection suddenly it becomes clear as to what we are looking at. It’s the International Space Station transiting the solar disk. Stunning

This amazing scene was captured by the excellent astrophotographer Martin Wagner who managed to grab a series of shots as the ISS transited the solar disk. The shape of the ISS is unmistakable. In the picture you can clearly see the solar panels and the various modules (I think I can see the ATV!). What makes this scene even more striking is the lack of sunspots obscuring the view; if this were taken during solar maximum, the spots will have obscured the shape of the station.

Source: APOD

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