This summer’s big solar eclipse, stretching across North America on Aug. 21, is becoming one of the most anticipated moments of the year in the US. Towns and communities that lie in the eclipse’s path are expecting a massive uptick in tourism as observers jockey for a place under the (blocked-out) sun.
While hotel rooms from South Carolina and westward might be hard to come by at this point, there is no question that one of the best viewing spots will likely be aboard the International Space Station. The image below, taken in 2012 by NASA astronaut Don Pettit, shows a rarely seen reverse angle of a solar eclipse: the moon’s shadow raking over a sunlit earth.
A NASA representative notes that there’s no guarantee that photos from the space station will be so perfectly timed this year. The ISS completes an orbit about every hour and a half, so its perspective on the hours-long phenomenon changes constantly.