ISS transit across sun

From: Tom Wagner (
Date: Wed Feb 26 2003 - 02:13:54 EST

  • Next message: Ron Lee: "Re: ISS transit across sun"

    Hi all,
    The other day Kevin Fetter tipped me off as to an ISS solar disk transit
    that was to occur near me yesterday. In fact, the ISS was going to pass
    almost exactly through the center of the sun as seen from the school where I
    teach. Not only that but it was to occur right after I had some time to set
    up and right at the beginning of my class that my son is in.
    So today I took advantage of the situation and went the whole nine yards. I
    had my 5" Celestron setup with my new digital video camera attached and I
    set up my 8" Celestron to project an image into an old fashioned Quaker Oats
    tube. On the far end of the tube I cut a large hole over which I placed a
    piece of diffusion material. The tube, lined with black paper, cut down the
    extraneous light quite a bit.
    In the morning the clouds formed then it became so hazy that I found it very
    difficult finding let alone focusing on the sun, especially with my video
    camera. Then as the time neared 6th period class was over and a flock of
    students flooded out of the building braving the cold. They crowded around
    the oatmeal tube while lying on the cold pavement fighting each other for a
    clear view of the three inch image of the sun. One of the girls said she had
    to go to the bathroom and the cold wasn't helping matters! :) In the last
    few minutes I had the video camera recording continuously then fortunately
    the clouds began to thin enough so that I could see the limb of the sun as
    something sharp (finally). My watch alarm went off and I started to count
    up. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, ..............10, 11 and on up to 30. The
    station was supposed to cross at 8 seconds past the minute! We saw nothing.
    :~(  I suppose the sun's intensity overwhelmed the tiny silhouette and the
    clouds ruined enough of the clarity that we didn't have a chance. It was
    only going to be visible for about a second.
    Oh well. At least this gave me an excuse to make a nice telescope adapter
    for my video camera. Next time I'll be ready. My students and I learned
    something and we appreciate Kevin's tip!!!
    By the way, the cloud clearing that began 3-4 minutes before the event
    continued until the sky was blue a half hour later. >:~|
    Has anybody successfully seen the ISS cross the sun's disk? Has anybody ever
    taken a video of it? It was 2:05 PM my time.
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