Friday, May 08, 2015

Yet another ISS transit over the Sun

Today, only a week after the transit of May 1st, I had another transit over the Sun of the International Space Station ISS here at Leiden. It happened on May 8, 2015 at 10:48:25 UT (12:48:25 local time).

The animated GIF above was made from four images and shows the ISS and clouds moving in front of the sun. In reality, the transit happens much faster than the GIF suggests by the way:it took less than 0.6 seconds in real time.

At first it looked like I would completely miss the transit: an hour before the transit it was still completely clouded.

About 20 minutes before the transit the cloud cover however started to break, and the Sun started to glimpse through. I quickly set up the Celestron C6  (a 15-cm Schmidt-Cassegrain) and while clouds were still partly obliterating the solar disc, I managed to snap a series of four images showing the ISS silhoueted against the solar disc. Unlike a week ago, this time a nice group of sunspots was visible as well.

Below are a still image and a detail from that still, showing the ISS with well recognizable solar panels just south of the sunspot group (note that the time in these images is 10 seconds off, it should be 10:48:25 UT).

click images to enlarge

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