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What Does the Solar Eclipse Look Like from the International Space Station?

Solar Eclipse from ISS (Image Credit:  ESA/NASA)
Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti took a series of photographs of the March 20, 2015 solar eclipse from the International Space Station. Cristoforetti wrote on Twitter, "Orbital sunrise and the #SolarEclipse... could it go any better?"

What is an eclipse?
A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks (or "occults") the Sun. It only happens at new moon and when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth ( an alignment called a "syzygy"). The difference between a partial or anulal eclpise has only part of the Sun is obscured, but a total eclipse happens when the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon.

Last week, on Friday, March 20, 2015, there was a total eclipse. Because of it's position, it was only visible on remote Arctic islands and clouds made it only partly visible in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Thankfully, there was one place that had a perfect view: The International Space Station. Samantha Cristoforetti took a series of photographs of the solar eclipse and they are spectacular.

The Italian European astronaut also took this amazing picture of the shadow cast by the eclipse on Earth.

European Space Agency’s Sun-watching Proba-2 minisatellite also used its SWAP imager to capture the Moon passing in front of the Sun

The next partial solar eclipse is on September 13, 2015 and the next total solar eclipse is on March 9, 2016.

Learn more at NASA's Solar Eclipse Page and ESA's page

What do you think of the solar eclipse photos? Are you planning to watch the next one?

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  1. Some amazing shots. Would be cool to see the total eclipse next year. I can't remember the last time I saw one.

  2. Thanks for sharing these great pics. I think I was in fifth grade when I saw an actual total/solar eclipse. We had a welder's helmet or something we could see through.

  3. That's awesome Jay. Just wearing the helmet would have been cool when I was in school.

  4. Nice! Now we need people on Mars to photograph the land rover!


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