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Business News/ Science / News/  Astronauts onboard space station to experience New Year 16 times. Here's how
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Astronauts onboard space station to experience New Year 16 times. Here's how

As the world prepares to welcome the arrival of 2024, astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) are set to witness the transition distinctively—by observing a total of 16 New Year countdowns

Travelling at a speed of five miles per second, the space station completes a full orbit around the Earth about every 90 minutesPremium
Travelling at a speed of five miles per second, the space station completes a full orbit around the Earth about every 90 minutes

As the world prepares to welcome the arrival of 2024, astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) are set to witness the transition distinctively—by observing a total of 16 New Year countdowns. 

Due to the high-speed velocity and non-stop orbit of the space station around the Earth, the astronauts onboard the ISS witness approximately 16 sunrises and sunsets within a 24-hour cycle. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says, “In 24 hours, the space station makes 16 orbits of Earth, travelling through 16 sunrises and sunsets."

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Travelling at a speed of five miles per second, the space station completes a full orbit around the Earth about every 90 minutes. This high-speed journey of ISS provides astronauts a unique opportunity to welcome the New Year multiple times as they travel through different time zones during this journey.

Experiencing multiple day-night cycles in a single Earth day is a regular phenomenon for the astronauts onboard the space station. Contrary to the 12-hour day and 12-hour night pattern on Earth, the astronauts witness 45 minutes of daylight followed by 45 minutes of darkness. This consecutive cycle repeats 16 times an Earth day, resulting in a total of 16 sunrises and sunsets during one orbit.

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The frequent consecutive shifts between day and night, offer astronauts the opportunity to conduct experiments across diverse fields like microbiology and metallurgy, yielding insights that are not possible on Earth.

Furthermore, this unique condition onboard the space station also contributes to improvement in our understanding of this universe.

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Despite adhering to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for a consistent schedule, the continual oscillation between 45 minutes day and night poses challenges for maintaining circadian rhythms. Among the most remarkable aspects of their mission are the breathtaking views of Earth's horizons and the extraordinary experience of celebrating New Year's Eve 16 times.

 

 

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Published: 31 Dec 2023, 08:46 PM IST
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