Encore - ISS Transit of the Sun
May 21, 2016
Today, and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.
The photo above shows the International Space Station (ISS) transiting the Sun as observed from near Athens, Greece on May 25, 2010. This particular transit was of special interest since the ISS was at a distance of only 268 miles (432 km). It typically orbits at approximately 435 - 620 miles (700 - 1,000 km) above the Earth. The transit was almost right smack through the middle of the solar disk; with a total transit duration of 0.54 seconds. STS 132 (Space Shuttle Atlantis) trailed 23 seconds -- one arc-degree behind the ISS. Although following the completion of STS 132 Atlantis is now retired from the shuttle fleet it could be used as a back-up in the event an emergency situation develops with the ISS and/or an existing mission to the ISS. Photo taken at precisely 10:43:55 a.m. local time (UT+3). Final comment: Four days later, on May 29, I captured the ISS occulting Jupiter during the day! See related link below.
Photo Details: AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF refractor telescope; with AP 2x Convertible Barlow lens; AP 1200GTO GEM mount; Canon EOS 5D Mark I camera; Baader UV/IR-Cut filter; Baader ND-5 (full-aperture); 1 x 1/2000 seconds; ISO 800; RAW image format; 4368x2912 image size; Continuous Servo Mode; Manual Mode.