A newly-released photograph shows the incredible scenes that occurred when the International Space Station orbited the Earth, with the image taken when the ISS was passing the Sun. The photo, courtesy of Rainee Colacurcio, was taken in broad daylight.
Colacurcio caught the ISS as it passed between Earth and the Sun. What’s also noticeable is the lack of sunspots featured (temporary spots which appear on the Sun’s outer shell due to reduced temperatures caused by magnetic fields), said to be due to the fact we’re currently in a period of low solar activity known as the Solar Minima.
The ISS is far closer to the Earth – being a distance of 250 miles (408km) away.
Featuring the photo as its Astronomy Picture of the Day, NASA said:
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.
The image is a composite of two images, with the first featuring the ISS as it transited the Sun, and the second taken in order to see greater detail of the Sun’s surface. It was taken from Edmonds Beach in Washington.
It is, of course, not the first photo of this nature from Colacurcio. She has posted several others of the ISS transiting the Sun.
All images by Rainee Colacurcio, and used with permission.