Monday, May 21, 2012

Astronauts See Solar Eclipse Shadow From Space

Solar Eclipse of 2006 Seen From Space Station
The International Space Station (ISS) was in position to view the umbral (ground) shadow cast by the moon as it moved between Earth and the sun during a solar eclipse on March 29, 2006. This astronaut image captures the umbral shadow across southern Turkey, northern Cyprus and the Mediterranean Sea.
View full size image

When the moon blocks the sun in a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse Sunday (May 20), six astronauts living in space just might see the shadow on Earth created by the event from their home in space, NASA officials say.
The International Space Station crew will likely not see the peak of the solar eclipse, but the astronauts may see the shadow from a partialsolar eclipse as it moves across the Pacific Ocean, NASA spokesman Bill Jeffs told
"They may be able to see the moon’s shadow as a disc on Earth when they are nearest the full eclipse point at 23:36 (between Kamchatka [Peninsula] and the Aleutian Islands)," Jeffs told in an email. The space station crew operates on Greenwich Mean Time (Universal Time), putting their time closest to the eclipse's peak at about 7:36 p.m. EDT.
On Earth, observers along a wide section of East Asia, the Pacific Ocean and western United States will also see a partial solar eclipse. Other observers, located along the center line of the eclipse's path, will see the moon block out 94 percent of the sun, weather permitting. [Annular Solar Eclipse of May 20 (A Photo Guide)]

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