re: Mir and August 11 eclipse

Philip Chien (
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 02:52:02 -0400

Eberst <> said:

> I have been taking a look at Mir predictions for August 11 around the time
>of eclipse totality.
>it may well provide
>an opportunity for the first ever sighting of a satellite during a
>solar eclipse.

Gemini 11 did view a solar eclipse in the mid 1960s.  I suspect Skylab also
did at some point.

But in any case above the Earth's atmosphere creating an artifical eclipse
is trivial.  Apollo did it for the Soyuz spacecraft during the joint
Soviet-American Apollo-Soyuz project, and most solar observing spacecraft
(Spartan, SOHO, Solar Max) have a black disk somewhere in their instruments
to block out the Sun so they can view the corona.

I'd be surprised if Mir's flight controllers didn't consider raising its
orbit to precess the plane so Mir would fly through the eclipse.  The
question is whether or not it's worth that much effort.  AFAIK none of
Mir's telescopes are in use anymore.

Philip Chien, KC4YER
Earth News
world (in)famous writer, science fiction fan, ham radio operator,
all-around nice guy, etc.