ISS and Solar Eclipse

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (
Date: Tue Mar 07 2006 - 14:48:04 EST

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    I just saw that a small orbit maneuver is planned for the ISS on 15-MAR-06. 
    What is interesting about this particular maneuver is that it will put the 
    ISS right into the path of totality of the total eclipse of the sun on 
    29-MAR-06 (without this maneuver the ISS would miss totality by little over 4 
    minutes). The ISS can now expect to see about 23 seconds of totality at 11:00 
    UT (while over the coast of Southern Turkey). I don't know whether there are 
    any ISS experiments which could use this eclipse scientifically but it sure 
    will make the day for the astronauts on board and for NASA Public Relations 
    on the ground!
    In the minutes leading up to this event some observers in Europe will be able 
    to see a transit of the ISS in front of a partially eclipsed sun. With the 
    upcoming phasing burn this would be (very roughly) along a line from 
    Liverpool, North of London, North of Brussels, Frankfurt, South of Vienna, 
    Istanbul. But expect this line to shift depending on the actual orbit. 
    Accurate predictions will have to wait as usual until a day or two before the 
    eclipse. I just wanted to give an advanced notice.
    Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    Darmstadt, Germany
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