NASA shares picture of International Space Station passing by the sun

The newly uploaded photo that was taken from the International Space Station while it passed right in front of the sun was published on the NASA website. “Transiting the Sun is not very unusual for the International space station, which orbits the Earth about every 90 minutes, but getting one’s timing and equipment just right for a great image is rare,” according to NASA.

The picture was made by combining two pictures together, one was taken of all the details of the surface of the sun and the other is of the space station coursing through the sun. Another detail was that the picture shows no sunspots on the surface, a rare sight as NASA tells us. “Sunspots have been rare on the Sun since the dawn of the current Solar Minimum, a period of low solar activity. For reasons not yet fully understood, the number of sunspots occurring during both the previous and current solar minima have been unusually low,” according to NASA.

Space station transiting the sun
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Image: NASA

Weather.com reveals that the solar activity cycle rounds up to about 11 years and when that activity is the lowers, it is called the solar minima. “And that is why no sunspots are visible in the picture. Conversely, when solar activities are at their peak, giant eruptions like solar flares and coronal mass eruptions become common. These activities can affect Earth too. The powerful bursts of energy sent into space by the Sun, can cause auroras and affect the radio signals along with the electricity grid on Earth,” according to Weather.com.

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