A photographer captures a stunning shot of the International Space Station passing through the lunar crater

Talented “backyard astrophotographer” Andrew McCarthy captured a stunning image of the International Space Station passing in front of one of the moon’s brightest craters.

McCarthy says the photo is one of the most “meticulously planned” shots of his career, which has seen no shortage of carefully planned images that have captured the world’s imagination.

“This shot was my epitome,” says McCarthy. petapixel. “A few weeks ago a similar transit was expected, but after on-site setup, all my equipment configured and focused, my laptop quit about 30 seconds before the transit and I missed it. I am very happy with this work, because this is a lot of work Losing two in a row would have been heartbreaking.”

The image shows the silhouette of the International Space Station in the foreground with Tycho crater in the background.

Tycho is a large and well-preserved impact crater on the Moon located in the southern lunar highlands. It is one of the smallest and most visible craters on the Moon. Named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who studied the moon and other celestial bodies in the late 16th century, the crater is about 53.4 miles (85 km) in diameter and about 2.98 miles (4.8 km) deep.

“This crater is 53 miles wide, so while the station appears to be orbiting the moon, it is actually 1,000 times closer to us,” McCarthy said. Writes.

McCarthy had to capture the moment when the International Space Station took off at an orbital speed of 5 miles per second.

This is what the moment of the transit looked like in real time on McCarthy’s laptop, which was attached to his camera on the telescope.

McCarthy wrote, “I knew it was coming, but I still gasped when I saw it.”

The photo was taken from a remote part of Interstate 79 in the Sonoran Desert, Arizona. McCarthy calculated the location of viewing the transit using Trans-finder.com, drove to the site late at night, and then set up his 14-inch telescope with a focal length of 4,000 mm to achieve an incredible amount of detail when the transit occurred at 11 p.m.

“These shots require careful planning because you have to be positioned just right or the station won’t pass exactly where you think it will walk,” McCarthy wrote. “If I had set up my telescope on the other side of the space I was in, I would have missed it completely.”

It can be difficult to find a perfect transit with the International Space Station passing directly through the Moon, because most results will be near (or far) wrong:

McCarthy then appears before the scheduled crossover—at least an hour, but sometimes several—of the event, which is over in the blink of an eye. The International Space Station is in front of the Moon for 1/10th of a second.

Thankfully for McCarthy, his careful planning paid off, and he was able to capture one of his most impressive astronomical pictures to date.

Visit to Tyco2023, by Andrew McCarthy.

McCarthy did a detailed blog post sharing the technical details featured in this photo. You can purchase limited editions from Visit to Tyco on the same page.

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