Amazing Solar Eclipse Photo, with Bonus Eclipse

January 5, 2011

Amazing Solar Eclipse Photo, with Bonus Eclipse

Astrophotographer, Thierry Legault, traveled from France to the Sultanate of Oman to photograph this year's eclipse. Why travel so far? Take a look at the photograph he captured.

Design, eclipse, photograph, iss, moon, solar

He did some calculations and found that the International Space Station would also eclipse the sun, and Oman would be the best place to capture the event.

Design, eclipse, photograph, iss, moon, solar

And the photo is even more amazing when you look at the numbers. Discover Magazine says:

To give you an overall idea of what you’re seeing here: the Sun is 147 million kilometers away (less than usual because this eclipse happened, coincidentally, very close to perihelion, when Earth was closest to the Sun). The Moon is 390,000 kilometers away. The Sun is about 400 times bigger than the Moon, but also about 400 times farther away, making them look about the same size in the sky. If you’re still having a hard time picturing the scale, take a look at the dark sunspot in the lower right of the big picture: it’s about twice the size of the Earth!

The space station, on the other hand, is 100 meters across (the size of a football field) and orbits about 350 km (210 miles) above the Earth’s surface. So the Moon was very roughly 1000 times farther away than the ISS when this picture was taken, and the Sun 400,000 times more distant. Yet all three lined up just right to make this extraordinary photograph possible.

Legault seems to have a pension for capturing ISS eclipses... here's one more:

Design, eclipse, photograph, iss, moon, solar

Other design posts you might be interested in:

Post-Apocalypse or Downtown Detroit: Photo Documentary
Vintage Photos Found: Niagra Falls Ran Dry
Flickr Faves Friday: 001

Via the Simon Corry Daily and Discover Magazine

Jessica Patterson

Jessica Patterson

Hi, I'm Jessica. I'm a Designer and Writer at Drawbackwards and write for the Design Blog at I enjoy vintage things, letterpress, publication design, and long walks around the Cesar Chavez Park pond. You can follow me on twitter at @jessdoodled for lots of fun randomness.

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