This Friday, parts of the northern hemisphere will be shrouded in darkness as the Moon moves in between the Sun and the Earth.
For ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and her crewmates on the International Space Station don’t have to worry about clouds getting in the way of their view. From their orbit above Earth 400 km high they will have a great view of the eclipse.
From around 09:00 UTC the Moon will block alot of the Sunlight from reaching the International Space Station, just missing a total eclipse
Aside from looking up at the Solar eclipse, Samantha will have another interesting view: if she looks down at Earth she will see the shadow the Moon casts on the clouds and ground. In 1999 astronauts on the Russian space station MIR took this eclipse picture with the spectacular shadow of the Moon on our planet.
At the time of the Solar eclipse Samantha will be working on the Triplelux experiment that is investigating how immune cells adapt to spaceflight. To run this experiment she will put immune cells in a centrifuge and put them 90 minutes later in the Space Station’s freezer for analysis back on Earth.
If the experiment runs smoothly Samantha might have time between the two operations to grab a camera and float to the Cupola observatory to take pictures and video of the eclipse.
For us on Earth, we will have to hope for clear skies and follow Samantha on Twitter via @AstroSamantha.