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Can you See the Space Shuttle?

“Intrepid astrophotographer Alan Friedman raced against time to reach exactly the right spot at the right fraction of a second to snap this stunning photo of the International Space Station, with the Space Shuttle Discovery attached, crossing the sun.

Friedman drove 1,800 miles from his home in Buffalo, New York to the annual Winter Star Party in the Florida Keys, “for the steady skies, warm temperatures and the company of good astronomy friends,” he wrote on his website. “But when I heard that the ISS would transit the sun nearby … I had to give it a try.”

The transit would be visible at 2:39 p.m. on March 1 from a location 20 miles to the north of the star-party site. The entire crossing would last just 0.2 seconds. Friedman was scheduled to give a talk about astrophotography from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. As soon as his talk was over, Friedman jumped in the car with fellow astrophotographers Brian Shelton and Mark Beale and raced after the sun.

“We got set up just in time to catch it,” Friedman wrote. “I underestimated the narrowness of this event … another 500 feet and we would have missed it entirely. Lucky day!””

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