Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2011 January 5
Explanation: Skywatchers throughout much of Europe, North Africa, and Central Asia, were treated to the first eclipse of the new year on January 4, a partial eclipse of the Sun. But traveling to the area around Muscat, capital city of Oman, photographer Thierry Legault planned to simultaneously record two eclipses on that date, calculating from that position, for a brief moment, both the Moon and the International Space Station could be seen in silhouette, crossing the Sun. His sharp, 1/5000th second exposure is shown here, capturing planet Earth's two largest satellites against the bright solar disk. As the partial solar eclipse unfolded, the space station (above and left of centre) zipped across the scene in less than 1 second, about 500 kilometres from the photographer's telescope and camera. Of course, the Moon was 400 thousand kilometres away. Complete with sunspots, the Sun was 150 million kilometres distant.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.