Chinese Space Station transits the Sun…


Earlier this week in the sunny skies above the south of France, China’s experimental Tiangong-1 space station flew directly in front of the sun. Using a filtered 6-inch telescope, astrophotographer Thierry Legault recorded the station’s silhouette alongside big sunspot AR1775.

Most people are familiar with the 450-ton International Space Station. Fewer, perhaps, know about China’s 8.5-ton Tiangong-1 (Heavenly Palace-1). It was launched in Sept. 2011 to establish a foothold in Earth orbit for China’s fledgling space program. Tiangong-1 was briefly boarded by taikonauts (Chinese astronauts) in June 2012, and a second group is onboard now. Three Taikonauts arrived on June 13, 2013, on a 15-day mission to practice rendevous and docking maneuvers and to gain experience living in space. Their expedition is attracting little attention in Western press, but it is being widely followed in China. Earlier this week, more than 60 million students and teachers at 80,000 Chinese schools watched a live lecture by the crew of the Tiangong-1.

See the Tiangong-1 before it goes! Spaceweather’s Simple Flybys app turns your smartphone into a field-tested space station tracker. It works for both the ISS and the Tiangong-1.

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Charles M0OXO

I was born in the 1960’s and have lived all my life in the Coal Mining Town of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, Northern England. My parents were all from this area of Yorkshire and my father worked in the main Industry of the local Collieries as a face worker. I have been married to my wife Debbie for 35+ years and we have two children and two grandchildren.

I have been licensed for around 20 years after my interest was re-kindled when I retired from my role as a Police Officer within South Yorkshire Police Force. The latter few years were spent as Radio Operator in the Force Operations Control Room at Sheffield, before my career ended.

IOTA chasing is (and always has been) my real passion, as climbing the ladder to reach Honour Roll status was always my main aim. The 1000 Islands Trophy is still out of reach but I am heading in the right direction. I am currently a Board Member of IOTA Ltd and IREF.

In my free time I am a keen Photographer of Wildlife, Aviation, (anything really) but the QSL Manager role is my main passion within Ham Radio.