Craft & Design Photography & Video Science
Amazingly well-timed photos of ISS silhouetted against moon, sun

Both these remarkable images were captured from the ground by French astrophotographer Thierry Legault.

The first, showing the ISS passing in front of the full moon, was taken from Avranches, France, at 21:34 UTC on December 20, 2010. The space station, of course, is much closer to the camera than the moon is, and is moving at 7.5 km/s relative to the ground, the upshot of which is that this photograph was only possible for the 0.55 seconds it took the ISS to pass in front of the moon. Monsieur Legault knew that, in advance, planned for it, and got the shot.

The second, even more remarkable photograph, shows a double partial eclipse of the sun, most obviously by the moon, to lower left, but also, again, by the ISS. The small dark spot to lower right is a sun spot larger than the Earth itself. This photograph was only possible for a 0.86 second window at 9:09 UTC on January 4th, 2011, from Muscat, Oman. Again, Legault carefully planned to be in exactly the right place, at exactly the right time, and got the shot.

M. Legault’s website is absolutely chock-a-block with stunning astrophotography and is well worth the click. Just be prepared to spend some time gawking. [via Neatorama]



I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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