NASA photographer catches space station passing eclipsed sun

- OK, so you’ve seen some jaw-dropping photos of the solar eclipse.  But it’s hard to top this series showing the International Space Station transiting the face of the partially-eclipsed sun.

NASA photographer Bill Ingalls got the once-in-a-lifetime shots from Northern Cascades National Park in Washington earlier today.  The iconic silhouette of the space station is clearly visible in front of the sun in several frames, as well as in one composite image created by merging the shots.

The space station was moving at roughly five miles per second at the time.

Photographers have known for a while that the space station would probably be visible during the eclipse, but even minor changes to the station’s fluctuating orbit shift ‘ground zero’ on Earth by several miles, so it took some careful planning and late calculations to find the exact spot.

Six people are current aboard the space station, including NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson, Jack Fischer, and Randy Bresnik.  Video from the space station, narrated by Whitson, showed the shadow of the moon clearly visible on the Earth’s surface.

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