Wow! NASA photographer spots space station crossing the sun during spacewalk (video)

A NASA photographer captured an amazing sight Friday (June 25) when the International Space Station crossed the sun while two astronauts were spacewalking outside. 

In a series of photos, NASA photographer Joel Kowsky captured the station's solar transit, as the event is called, as astronauts Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency and Shane Kimbrough of NASA worked outside to install a new Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) on the orbiting laboratory. NASA combined the images into a time-lapse video and mosaic.

The mosaic image is a composition of seven subsequent frames taken from Nellysford, Virginia, as the space station traversed the face of the sun at the speed of roughly 5 miles per second, which is about 18,000 mph (29,000 kph), according to a NASA photo description.

The six-hour and 45-minute spacewalk was the third for Pesquet and Kimbrough in less than two weeks as they completed work on augmenting the space station's power systems. The iROSA panel deployed on Friday was the second of six new panels to be installed at the station. 

Friday's extravehicular activity (EVA) positioned the second iROSA opposite the first on the far left, or port side of the space station's backbone truss. Now both the 2B and 4B power channels on the port 6 (P6) truss have the new arrays deployed.

There are currently seven astronauts on board the space station. In addition to Pesquet and Kimbrough, NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei currently reside on board, together with Japan's Akihiko Hoshide and Russian cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy. 

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Tereza Pultarova
Senior Writer

Tereza is a London-based science and technology journalist, aspiring fiction writer and amateur gymnast. Originally from Prague, the Czech Republic, she spent the first seven years of her career working as a reporter, script-writer and presenter for various TV programmes of the Czech Public Service Television. She later took a career break to pursue further education and added a Master's in Science from the International Space University, France, to her Bachelor's in Journalism and Master's in Cultural Anthropology from Prague's Charles University. She worked as a reporter at the Engineering and Technology magazine, freelanced for a range of publications including Live Science,, Professional Engineering, Via Satellite and Space News and served as a maternity cover science editor at the European Space Agency.