NASA takes a sensational view of the ISS junction facing the sun

The International Space Station transited the sun on June 24, 2020 in this composite image.

NASA / Joel Kowsky

It is complicated enough to get a good shot of the International Space Station as it is crossing the sky. It is even more difficult to get a magnificent photo of him crossing the face of the sun. Give a round of applause to NASA photographer Joel Kowsky for doing this.

NASA released a composite image consisting of six frames showing the ISS in silhouette as it traveled through the sun “at approximately 5 miles per second” on June 24. NASA also released a short video of the transit made from 10 photographs.

It took a combination of skill, equipment, and time to capture the image. While the station’s silhouette looks a bit like a Star Wars TIE fighter, what you’re seeing on the sides are the ISS’s large array of solar panels.

The ISS represents more than just a collection of equipment in orbit. There are currently two Russian cosmonauts and three NASA astronauts at the station. The NASA crew includes SpaceX Crew Dragon pioneers Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who arrived in late May during the historic Demo-2 mission.

If you want to catch the ISS for yourself, either with a camera or with the naked eye, check out NASA’s Spot the Station site and sign up to be alerted when it will fly over your part of the world.