Time-lapse Photo of the International Space Station Passing in Front of the Sun

Caitlin Dempsey

Updated:

NASA photographer Joel Kowsky was able to capture this time-lapse photograph of the International Space Station (ISS) as it passed between the Earth and the Sun.

On June 24, 2020, Kowsky captured from the ground in Fredericksburg, Virginia the progression of the ISS as it orbited 400 kilometers (250 miles) above Earth.

While the ISS circles the Earth every 90 minutes as it flies at eight kilometers (five miles) per second, capturing a time-lapse of the ISS as it moves in space across the diameter of the sun involves a combination of good timing and clear weather conditions.

The entire transit lasted only about 0.54 seconds.


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The final composite photograph by Kowsky shows six frames of a backlit ISS as it moves from right to left in front of the Sun.

A time-lapse photograph shows the ISS in six frames as it traverses the sun.  Photo: Joel Kowsky, NASA, public domain.
A time-lapse photograph shows the ISS in six frames as it traverses the sun. Photo: Joel Kowsky, NASA, public domain.

Reference

Patel, K. (2020, June 26). Space station sails across the sun. NASA Earth Observatory. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/146906/space-station-sails-across-the-sun

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Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.