August 21 total solar eclipse

James Marshall
August 24, 2017

A NASA photographer managed to capture the moment that the International Space Station moved across the solar eclipse Monday in a series of rare high-speed photos.

As Earthlings peered skywards at the alignment of the moon and sun the space station could also be seen. It can happen within three different distances, with annular solar eclipses having the moon passing farthest from earth; partial solar eclipses having the three celestial bodies not exactly lining up; and total solar eclipses, where the moon is closet to the earth and is able to completely cover the sun within a direct line.

ESA (the European Space Agency) and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) crediting officials for Innermost image: NASA/SDO; Ground-based eclipse image: Jay Pasachoff, Ron Dantowitz, Christian Lockwood and the Williams College Eclipse Expedition/NSF/National Geographic; Outer image: ESA/NASA/SOHO and others. In last 99 years, that was such a colossal total solar eclipse from west to east coasts of the US.

Viewing the eclipse from orbit were NASA's Randy Bresnik, Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson, ESA (European Space Agency's) Paolo Nespoli, and Roscosmos' Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy.

Just to see if you clicked through to the end, here's a photo of Lady Gaga taking in the eclipse. Because of its travel through the U.S., it has been named the "Great American Eclipse".

On Monday, Ars writers shared some thoughts about the total solar eclipse that spanned the United States with readers and took some backyard photographs of the event. Now, it's time to stare in awe at all the incredible images captured by NASA, the European Space Agency, their satellites, and the luckiest folks off Earth: the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

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