NASA captures stunning view of ISS crossing in front of the sun

Two astronauts were on a spacewalk outside the station at the time of the image was taken.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

The ISS can be seen moving across the sun in this composite image from June 25, 2021.

NASA/Joel Kowsky

NASA photographer Joel Kowsky captured a magical few moments on Friday, preserving a glorious view of the International Space Station with the sun as a bright orange backdrop. The ISS appears as a small shape with solar arrays visible on either side. 

"This composite image made from seven frames shows the International Space Station, with a crew of seven on board, in silhouette as it transits the sun at roughly 5 miles per second," NASA said in a statement on Monday.

Transits are challenging to photograph. They happen fast and require getting the timing, camera gear and weather conditions to all play nice. "This was a fun one to chase down today," Kowsky tweeted on Friday. 

NASA also tweeted a GIF version of the ISS moving across the sun so you can see the station's progression and direction.

This was an extra special transit since it happened while NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet were outside on a spacewalk installing a new rollout solar array. The duo had already installed one of the innovative arrays, which will supplement the power supply for the station.

If you like the ISS sun transit, also check out this eye-opening moon transit from 2019. You don't have to be a camera whiz to see the ISS. Visit NASA's Spot the Station site to find out when you can catch the ISS for yourself. 

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