Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) got a stunning view of the May lunar eclipse from Earth orbit.
Images released by NASA show the moon partially obscured by Earth’s shadow, with parts of the International Space Station in the foreground.
At some point, astronauts can see the partial eclipse intersect the Earth’s horizon.
The Moon pictured during a lunar eclipse on Wednesday is seen from the space station as it orbited over 260 miles above the Earth. pic.twitter.com/CDCWGfpbKU
— International Space Station (@Space_Station) May 27, 2021
Unfortunately, astronauts on the International Station were unable to see the full five-hour eclipse on May 25, nor did they see the “blood moon” turning red during the total phase of the lunar eclipse, which lasted for about 15 minutes.
Dan Hoot, a NASA spokesperson at Johnson Space Center in Houston, told Space.com in an email that Earth obscured their view at this pivotal moment.
However, some viewers on Earth were able to see the “blood moon”, also known as the giant blood moon flower because it combined two events: the supermoon and the full flower moon of May.
Because Venus’ moon occurred when the moon was near perigee, the closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit, it appeared slightly larger than average, a phenomenon informally referred to as a “super moon.”
The total eclipse was visible from the western part of the Americas, the Pacific Islands, all of Australia and parts of East Asia.
During a total eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes through the dark inner shadow of the Earth, the moon appears red.
This happens because the moon reflects light from every sunrise and sunset on Earth while our world’s atmosphere filters blue light, according to NASA.
Hoot said that although astronauts on the International Space Station were unable to see the red moon, they had two opportunities to view the partial eclipse.
The partial eclipse was visible from the space station at approximately 7:02 a.m. EDT (11:02 GMT). The astronauts had a second viewing opportunity at 8:36 am EST (12:36 GMT), about 15 minutes before the partial eclipse ended with the moon emerging from the Earth’s shadow. During both scenes, the International Space Station was over the South Atlantic.
It is noteworthy that the International Space Station, which orbits around the Earth at an altitude of about 248 miles (400 km) and a speed of about 17,500 miles per hour (280,000 km / h), completes one trip around the world once every 90 minutes. This means that the crew on board the international station witnesses about 16 moonrises and sunsets every day, in addition to 16 sunrises and sunsets.