Solar transit of ISS in front of sunspots during a spacewalk

On June 9 2023, Steve Bowen and Woody Hoburg were in spacewalk for the installation of a new set of iROSA solar panels. For the occasion, I drove 6 hours to go to Netherlands where a transit happened one hour after the spacewalk started.

The ISS passed in front of 3 sunspots groups! Using real time images of the Sun, I estimated the position of the main sunspot groups towards vertical and horizontal directions (which depends on time and location), I compared it to the trajectory planned by, and I tried to place myself on the corresponding transit line (which was not the center of the transit visibility path).

The big sunspot could swallow the Earth, but it is 300000 times farther than the ISS (150 million km versus 550 km).

All the individual images are single shots at 1/32000 s. I never make ISS transits with stackings or assemblies.

This reminds me February 2011, when I filmed Steve in spacewalk near Discovery space shuttle:
I met him in 2019 in Houston together with Donald Pettit and Thomas Pesquet, they are fantastic guys!

Instrument: CFF200 triplet apo refractor, Baader Herschel wedge, Olympus OM-1, Emmanuel Rietsch's GPS trigger.

Image taken on June 5 (4 days earlier), from Vierzon, France:

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