Astronomy Picture of the Day: 11/19/13 – The ISS Transiting the Moon


Image Credit: Thierry Legault

In a truly one-of-a-kind photograph, astrophotographer Theirry Legault captured this detailed image of the International Space Station transiting the moon from our vantage point. This is such an incredibly difficult shot to capture since the ISS is constantly traveling at 7.5k meters per second, or about 28,0000 km/h (17,500 mph). Therefore, it only takes about half a second for the ISS to dance across the face of the moon. As you can (hopefully) see, the ISS was snapped here about an inch above the famous Tycho crater (not literally, of course. It just appears as such because of the photo’s size.)

Legault took this image from Avranches in Normandy, France a few hours before the eclipse, on December 20th of 2010. He used a Meade 10″ ACF on Takahashi EM400, with a Canon 5D mark II.

Here’s a high resolution version of the photo, which has a zoom feature that’s handy in showing the clarity in which this image was taken in. More of astrophotographer, Thierry Legault’s award-winning images can be found on his website. He also has some absolutely fabulous images of the ISS and the docked space shuttle, Endeavor transiting the sun, along with the only known image of the Hubble Space Telescope and a Space Shuttle making that same journey.

Lastly, did you know you can actually get email alerts from NASA when the ISS is expected to pass over your location?

 From Quarks to Quasars is two people, Jaime and Jolene. We want to make the world a more sciencey place. We’re doing that, but with your help, we can do even more.

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Jaime Trosper

About Jaime Trosper

Jaime is a freelance writer, who finds great joy in sharing the wonders of universe with others. She used this passion to launch "From Quarks to Quasars" in 2012.