Solar Transit of the International Space Station

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Solar Transit of the International Space Station
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ISS Solar Transit Composite Photo

By Fritz Olenberger

On Friday, April 10 at about 11:01 a.m. Santa Barbara time (18:01 UTC), the International Space Station made a solar transit that was visible (with magnification and solar filter protection) across a 3.8 mile path that passed through Santa Barbara. In the center of this path, the duration of the transit was only 0.63 seconds.  I captured the event from Laguna Blanca School in Hope Ranch.  This image is a composite of frame grabs (every other frame) from a 4K video shot at 30 frames per second, at a shutter speed of 1/2000 sec.  I shot the video with a Canon 5D Mk IV and 600mm lens with a solar filter.

Mother Nature was kind enough to provide a clear sky after five days of rain showers.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, along with Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of the Russian space agency Roscosmos joined Expedition 62 Commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos and NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir aboard the International Space Station when the hatches between the Soyuz spacecraft and the orbiting laboratory officially opened at 9:28 a.m. PDT on Thursday, April 9.

The ISS orbits the earth every 92 minutes, or just over 15 orbits per day.  It travels at a speed of 17,100 miles per hour, at an altitude of 254 miles.  It is slightly larger than a football field.

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macpuzl Apr 18, 2020 12:42 PM
Solar Transit of the International Space Station

We're just at the bottom of the latest minimum, with cycle 25 sunspots starting to appear here and there as it ramps up. You can follow the cycle daily at: spaceweather.com

EastBeach Apr 18, 2020 01:24 PM
Solar Transit of the International Space Station

Awesome. And the math works out for 20 frames @30 fps (half thrown out). On another note, I read comet ATLAS has broken up. Was looking forward to seeing it with binoculars.

macpuzl Apr 18, 2020 02:15 PM
Solar Transit of the International Space Station

OK, you've caught great shots of the ISS transiting the Moon and the Sun. The remaining candidates for ISS transits, like Jupiter, are much more challenging ;)

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