Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have the opportunity to see this year’s only total solar eclipse, which can only be seen from the South Pole.
The solar eclipse begins at 14:00 on December 4, Hanoi time. The seven astronauts living aboard the ISS gather around Cupola, the large domed window in the ISS’ Tranquility module, to observe a rare astronomical phenomenon.
“The Expedition 66 crew looked over Cupola to see the total solar eclipse taking place over Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Here, the Moon casts a shadow on the Earth’s surface,” said astronaut Kayla Barron.
The solar eclipse peaked at around 2:44 p.m. on December 4. The total phase lasts 2 minutes, when the entire Sun disk is obscured by the Moon. A portion of the disk quickly followed, gradually escaping the Moon’s shadow. At 3:06 pm on the same day, the eclipse ended.
In addition to the astronauts on the ISS station, several thousand researchers working at scientific stations in the Arctic also have the opportunity to monitor the phenomenon. With them, hundreds of thousands of emperor penguins experienced the moment when the sky suddenly darkened.
Other parts of the world such as Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa can observe a partial eclipse. It is very dangerous to look directly at the partially obscured Sun disk without a specialized telescope or viewfinder. The next total lunar eclipse will take place on April 20, 2023 and will be visible from much of southern and eastern Asia.