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Monday, 9 December, 2002, 10:31 GMT
Astronauts' view of eclipse
Eclipse, Nasa
The Moon casts a shadow like a black spot
This is the view the new crew on the International Space Station (ISS) got of the recent total solar eclipse.

Open in new window : In Pictures
View of the eclipse from the ISS

The image, taken out of the porthole of the platform by Don Pettit, clearly shows the Moon's dark shadow, or umbra, on the Earth's surface.

The photograph was taken mid-eclipse, when the path of totality was out in the Indian Ocean.

Any ships in the more than 60-kilometres-wide (40 miles) path would not have had a very good view of the solar phenomenon: as the picture shows, there was heavy cloud over the region at the time.

The out-of-focus object in the foreground is part of the frame for the viewing port.

Eclipse, BBC
The instant of greatest eclipse was in the Indian Ocean
The only total solar eclipse of 2002 occurred over southern Africa, the Indian Ocean and Australia on Wednesday, 4 December.

It started in the Atlantic Ocean at 0550 GMT and ended in the Australian outback at 0912 GMT.

At times, the umbra was moving across the planet's surface at about 18,000 km/h (11,200 mph).

Open in new window : At-a-glance
The path of the 2002 total solar eclipse

The next total eclipse will be over Antarctica next November.

Pettit and the other members of the Expedition Six crew - Kenneth Bowersox and Nikolai Budarin - joined the ISS just over a week ago. They will live and work on the orbital platform until at least March.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tom Heap
"The Sun's disappearance is still met with suspicion"
Never look at the Sun without protection and always supervise children.

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Images from the solar eclipse in southern Africa and Australia, 4 December 2002
Total eclipse 2002



Readers' eclipse pics

See also:

26 Nov 02 | Science/Nature
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