VIDEO: International Space Station passage across sun visible from Tempe

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View from Tempe of ISS crossing the sun. (Source: Mircea Garcia) View from Tempe of ISS crossing the sun. (Source: Mircea Garcia)
(Source: Mircea Garcia) (Source: Mircea Garcia)
International Space Station solar transit on Dec. 20, 2016 (Source: NASA) International Space Station solar transit on Dec. 20, 2016 (Source: NASA)
The International Space Station (Source: NASA) The International Space Station (Source: NASA)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A viewer from Tempe sent us some (inter)stellar video of the International Space Station passing in front of the sun.

He said he shot it earlier this week.

“For the first time I managed to capture the International Space Station crossing the Sun, here in Tempe-Arizona (two days ago),” Mircea Goia wrote in an email to us Thursday.

Capturing video like this isn’t easy.

“It doesn't occur often and you have to be precise down to the second when you photograph/film it,” he said.

[RELATED: European Space Agency: Where is the ISS?]

Precision is key because the ISS, which is the largest space station ever constructed, is hurling through space at 4.76 miles per second, which is roughly 17,150 miles per hour. That means a complete circuit around the Earth takes only about 90 minutes.

The ISS has been in orbit for more than 6,700 days --  nearly 18.5 years.

“The ISS has been the most politically complex space exploration program ever undertaken,” according to NASA. The heavy lifting is divided among the space agencies the U.S., Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. There are operations and management facilities in countries all over the world.

Launched in 1998, the ISS, “one of the most ambitious international collaborations ever attempted,” has hosted astronauts from 18 countries. 

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