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Posted: August 1, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Local Astronomers snap pictures of ISS

Submitted photo/

The telescope tells all: Theo Ramakers (Social Circle) and Frank Garner (Covington), both members of the Charlie Elliott Chapter of the Atlanta Astronomy Club, imaged the International space Station as it transited the Sun on Friday, July 30.

They made the image of the space station from the corner of Cox Cemetary Road and Social Circle Fairplay Road, which was directly on the center line of the event. The image was taken at 3:35 p.m.; the ISS has orbited around the Earth 67,033 times since its launch on Nov. 20, 1998.

It took the ISS only 0.45 seconds to pass across the face of the sun. The ISS, which measures 73 by 44.5 by 27.5 meters, appeared to be only 1/40 of the diameter of the sun at the distance of 253 miles.

The two almost missed this pass as an object passed across the field of view about 20 seconds prior to the expected time, which they first thought was an early pass. They stuck to their imaging plan and caught the right pass at the right time.

The Charlie Elliott Chapter of the AAC meets monthly at the visitors center of the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield. The next meeting is Aug. 7 at 5 p.m. The meeting is free and everyone is welcome. For more info, visit their Web site at www.ceastronomy.org.

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