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Space Science

Double Eclipse Photographed, Sun, Moon, and ISS 159

The Bad Astronomer writes "The exceptionally talented astrophotographer Thierry Legault captured a picture extraordinary even for him: the space station passing in front of the Sun while the Sun was being partially eclipsed by the Moon! He traveled all the way from France to the Sultanate of Oman to take this amazing shot. I have more information about the picture itself on the Bad Astronomy blog, but you should go to Thierry's website to see more amazing pictures he's taken over the years. They're simply jaw-dropping."
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Double Eclipse Photographed, Sun, Moon, and ISS

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  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @04:46PM (#34757874) Homepage

    Looks like the site has been eclipsed already. :(

    • by TheL0ser ( 1955440 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @04:49PM (#34757914)
      It always amuses me to think of servers and networking equipment melting whenever I see a slashdotting.
      • by cstacy ( 534252 )

        It always amuses me to think of servers and networking equipment melting whenever I see a slashdotting.

        I found out about it from Facebook.

        (And since it was an astronomer who posted it there, I bet they didn't originally find it on Slashdot, either.)

        I wonder if some sites are being Facebooked ("facepalmed"?) rather than Slashdotted these days.

        • I imagine it would be slightly different, as facebook takes time to propagate through the users, but on the other hand slashdot is just one big DDOS every time a story goes up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rehabdoll ( 221029 )

      I managed to get the page loaded before. []

      • That's actually a really cool shot. Had less than a second to get it too, he must have been quite the mathemagician to know where and exactly when to be.
      • Wait... what's that round thing in the lower left that appears to be chasing the space station? It couldn't just be a sunspot...
        • This is no moon...

          • Heh, and I was just going to comment that the space station looked like a Tie Fighter...
          • by KlomDark ( 6370 )

            This picture gives the 'That's no moon, it's a space station!' phrase a whole new outlook. :)

            Although in this case, it might be "That's no Space Station, that's a TIE Fighter"

            Hey ISS crewmembers - do you guys surf slashdot from orbit?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MarkvW ( 1037596 )

        The photog only authorized PRIVATE use of the picture. Why don't you respect that and take it off your site?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by N1tr0u5 ( 819066 )
          People are complaining about the nice fellow that is serving up the image when the site has been slashdotted, but no one is complaining about cache servers serving up the image. Why? Aren't they just as guilty of unauthorized reproduction as he is?
        • Re:Eclipsed .... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by snookerdoodle ( 123851 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @05:46PM (#34758642)

          The photog only authorized PRIVATE use of the picture. Why don't you respect that and take it off your site?

          Gee, thanks for getting him to take down a mirror of a slashdotted image. I actually wanted to see the thing.


        • Re:Eclipsed .... (Score:5, Informative)

          by ArundelCastle ( 1581543 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @06:16PM (#34759028)

          Thierry's notice says "use". "Distribution" is neither literally or legally considered synonymous with use (in north america). And yes I am a photographer, I'm sure Thierry knows the difference too. He's famous enough to know that these things spread.
          The only thing the parent did improper is rename the image from eclipse110104_solar_transit_33.jpg to thierry_eclipse_iss.jpg, which disrupts Thierry's ability to track its propagation, even though it is nice enough to include his name as an inherent keyword.

          For the server argument, doesn't disallow bots from crawling images. Many commercial photographer sites do.
          A bot can indeed be guilty of ignoring those rules, but that just means it was programmed without concern for rules.

          • by geekoid ( 135745 )

            yeah, but I don't care. I used to care, but not any more.

            Let me know when someone doesn't buy something with his picture because it's also on the internet.

      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by icebike ( 68054 )

        I managed to get the page loaded before. []

        And then you proceeded to violate his copyright.
        Nice work.

        • Re:Eclipsed .... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by e4g4 ( 533831 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @05:22PM (#34758308)
          Does the same apply to these [] guys?
        • fine, gone

          • Can't you host a separate copy for people willing to violate copyright? Then everyone's happy

            • by icebike ( 68054 )

              Not necessary. Follow the Link to Bad Astronomy blog, where they sought and got permission. Its not that hard to be polite to authors.

    • Re:Eclipsed .... (Score:5, Informative)

      by b0bby ( 201198 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @04:55PM (#34757982)

      Try the Coralize plugin for Firefox; it doesn't always work, but there's often a cache. It worked in this case, and the picture is pretty amazing.

    • by mangu ( 126918 )

      Looks like the site has been eclipsed already. :(

      Perhaps it was running in an Eclipse server []

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      There is no dark side of the moon. As a matter of fact, it's all dark!

    • Re:Eclipsed .... (Score:5, Informative)

      by choongiri ( 840652 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @05:29PM (#34758384) Homepage Journal

      Here are copies that don't contravene the photographer's usage request: [] []

      • Thanks, wish I had points to mod this up!

      • by pavon ( 30274 )

        How the heck is rinnestam's mirror of the image any less legitimate than NYUD's mirror?

        • The difference is fairly obvious. The coral cache mirrors the whole page, including context, credit, the usage conditions and links to the photographer's other work.

    • His next shot will be the ISS transiting his web server, which due to this slashdotting has been catapulted into space and is glowing as bright as the Sun...

  • Is the Empire here to crush us?! Save us, Luke!
  • by Anonymous Coward's a space station.

    So apropos for once.

    • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @04:53PM (#34757960) Journal's a space station.

      So apropos for once.

      Actually it is a moon AND a space station.

      • by jamrock ( 863246 )'s a space station.

        So apropos for once.

        Actually it is a moon AND a space station.

        Actually it's THE Moon and THE Space Station.

        • Actually it's THE Moon and THE Space Station.

          No, it's "a" - there are multiple Moons (we're actually fairly poor in the moon lottery), and there have been past Space Stations.

          • by jamrock ( 863246 )
            I'm well aware that there are multiple moons, but there's only one named "the Moon" (I did capitalize).
      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        Actually it is a moon AND a space station.

        Well I was thinking that it's certainly a long way out for a lone TIE Fighter, then I realised...

      • Taking it literally... the moon is a satellite of the Earth. So is the space station. If they are both satellites, could one not also stretch the analogy beyond normal limits, and say that they are, in fact, both "moons"? ;)

  • It would be interesting to know about the equipment he used and the settings on his camera
    • Re:Amazing! (Score:5, Informative)

      by bryansj ( 89051 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @04:56PM (#34757990)
      From the link: Image of the solar transit of the International Space Station (ISS), taken from the area of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman on January 4th 2011 at 9:09 UT, during the partial solar eclipse. Takahashi FSQ-106ED refractor on EM-10 mount, Canon 5D mark II. 1/5000s exposure at 100 iso. Transit forecast calculated by (many thanks to Arnold Barmettler for his help). Transit duration: 0.86s. ISS distance to observer: 510 km. Speed in orbit: 7.8km/s (28000 km/h or 17000 mph). The image shows three planes in space: the Sun at 150 million km, the Moon at about 400000 km and the ISS at 500 km.
      • by Malc ( 1751 )

        Great... but what lens and filter(s) was he using?

        • by bryansj ( 89051 )
          There was no "lens". The Canon 5D was attached to the Takahashi FSQ-106ED using the appropriate mount to replace the eyepiece. No idea what exact filter was used.
  • I think the correlation explains itself.
  • They need to land at night if they're not going to burn up.

  • ...a Slashdotted picture of the space station passing in front of the Sun while the Sun was being partially eclipsed by the Moon:

    Error 503 Service Unavailable

  • by michelcolman ( 1208008 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @04:54PM (#34757980)
    The shadows are all wrong.
    • This [] looks shopped
      This [], not so much
      • The funny thing is you could do that in Photoshop without much problem. Not that he did - it's an incredible picture and he went to extraordinary efforts to get it but -

        I would have Photoshopped the damned thing. The idea of taking a 10 inch reflector with assorted support gear on a bunch of airplanes to the middle of nowhere gives me a headache just thinking about it.
    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @05:39PM (#34758544)

      Some folks from the former East Germany sometimes ask me if the Apollo Moon landings were faked. Some admitted that they were taught so in school. Wrong shadows, flapping flag, etc.

      I reply that I got up at 04:00 EST when Apollo 14 was on the Moon, and Alan Shepard knocked around some golf balls. Walter Cronkite looked liked he was grabbed out of the grave, and did not seemed amused that CBS dragged him out of bed to report on the Moon walk.

      Golf balls on the Moon? Not even the wackiest Hollywood director could think that thing up.

      Of course, the definitive evidence for the Moon landings is a mirror they left behind, which is used to shoot lasers at to determine the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

      Of course, one could argue that a Moon chick dropped her compact powder kit . . .

      • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @09:24PM (#34761026) Homepage

        Technically speaking, the mirror could have been left by an unmanned probe. Of course, all the rest of the evidence points so overwhelmingly towards the Moon landing being fact and not fantasy. (The Mythbusters did an expert job at busting the various "proofs" that conspiracy theorists give.) I'd say that the biggest knock against the conspiracy is that it would have required thousands of scientists, politicians, engineers and various government officials to keep the secret for over 40 years now. Plus the others that would have been involved in the subsequent Moon landings. (We did go more than once.) When have you known that many people to keep a secret that big for that long a time?

      • by Genda ( 560240 )

        The conversation has been decisively determine ever since NASA launched the LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.) There are now super clear [] images of the lunar surface including the Lunar Landing Modules, human foot prints, rovers and rover tracks, and other equipment left behind. The entire history of human presence on the moon is clearly visible for anyone willing to look at the photographs of the lunar surface. Just as the flat earthers, at some point when the evidence becomes overwhelming, you just have t

      • Of course, the definitive evidence for the Moon landings isThe fact that the USSR conceded the fact that the US had landed on the Moon and made no attempt to claim otherwise.

    • You jest, but check out The top-rated comments in this article []. I know, I know, Daily Mail readers and science do not go well together, but seriously - the zoom in on the ISS proves that the photo is fake? The sun spots are birds? I despair, I really do...

  • by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @05:01PM (#34758042)
    What does this mean!?

  • Go Canada!

    • Let's all give Canada a hand for giving the ISS a hand!
  • Eclipse (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 )
    All that you touch
    All that you see
    All that you taste
    All you feel
    All that you love
    All that you hate
    All you distrust
    All you save
    All that you give
    All that you deal
    All that you buy
    Beg, borrow or steal
    All you create
    All you destroy
    All that you do
    All that you say
    All that you eat
    Everyone you meet
    All that you slight
    Everyone you fight
    All that is now
    All that is gone
    All that's to come
    And everything under the sun is in tune
    But the sun is eclipsed by the moon
    • Amazingly appropriate, considering that the very next Slashdot story is about Pink Floyd.

      [For all you mystified young 'uns, Locke2005 posted the complete lyrics for Eclipse from Dark Side of the Moon.]
  • hot jupiters ? spinning saturns ?

    the title of the article seems more fit for a romance novel than a tech article. not bad for a change.
  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @06:30PM (#34759236) Homepage Journal

    would be a video showing the ISS zip across the sun. (slowed down please! since the transit was less than one second) Good lord that man has good timing... (but I suspect he actually took a video of it and we're seeing a still - I mean who in their right mind would chance that with a single shudder click??)

  • From the blog:

    one spot isn’t a spot at all, it’s the International Space Station!

    The dimensions for ISS are 357 feet by 167 feet. A simple search for spy satellite yields this:

    "The satellite likely consists of sensitive radio receivers and an antenna generally believed to span up to 328 feet to gather electronic intelligence for the National Security Agency," Molczan told Spaceflight Now.

    How can we tell a sun spot is a sun spot?

  • my new desktop background.

  • by 517714 ( 762276 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @08:29PM (#34760508)
    Thierry Legault knows this. The writer of the summary seems to be more interested in a sensationalist headline line than in accuracy.
  • by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @08:31PM (#34760520)

    I stopped reading Slashdot in disgust at the article + comments last week.

    Today I've come back. This is the kind of article I want to see! The comments are still 95% shit though.

    Did anyone in London see the eclipse? Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of it until too late -- had I been, I'd have got up extra-early and taken a train out of London if necessary.

    • by Malc ( 1751 )

      The Beeb had a reporter up in Sunderland yesterday morning... dunno if that's because of the weather, or it that was the best place in the UK to observe it. I seem to recall that it was overcast yesterday morning in London anyway.

      • by xaxa ( 988988 )

        A friend told me there was nothing to see in London yesterday, so I didn't miss much.

        Further north was better, I think the Shetlands would have been best, except for the increased chance of cloud. Northern Sweden was the best place (most coverage of the Sun by the Moon).

  • "No, it's a short-range fighter."

  • Cue the Strauss.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!