ISS Observations

Observations of the Eclipse from the International Space Station

The International Space Station orbits Earth every 92 minutes. During a total solar eclipse in 2006, ISS astronauts were treated to a view out their window of the moon’s dark shadow. The fast-moving shadow was in a nearly perfect path relative to the ISS orbit pass that, from an altitude of about 400 km, the lunar shadow seemed like a big ‘black hole’ that had opened up as the ISS sped past it in a matter of a few seconds!

ISS images of lunar shadow
Credit: NASA/ISS

A previous opportunity to see a total solar eclipse from a manned spacecraft occurred in 1999 for Cosmonauts in the MIR space station shown here.

ISS images of lunar shadow
​Credit: NASA/ISS

It is expected that for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse at least some part of the eclipse will be visible by the ISS astronauts. As we get closer to the date of the eclipse, more will be known about the likely observing circumstances, and a link will be provided on this page to see the real-time observations and commentary by the astronauts.

More ISS images of previous eclipses may be found at