Perfectly Timed Photo Shows The ISS Passing In Front Of The Sun

Published 5 years ago

Rainee Colacurcio is a photographer from Brier, WA, who recently captured an incredible picture of the International Space Station (ISS) passing in front of the Sun, looking like an oddly shaped sunspot. In fact, NASA loved the photo so much, they even featured it as the Astronomy Picture of the Day on July 15, 2019.

“Transiting the Sun is not very unusual for the ISS, which orbits the Earth about every 90 minutes, but getting one’s timing and equipment just right for a great image is rare,” writes NASA. The photograph is actually a composite of two different images – a closeup of the ISS and another one capturing the Sun’s surface.

More info: Twitter | NASA

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Photographer Rainee Colacurcio recently captured this amazing picture of the International Space Station passing in front of the Sun

Photo source: Twitter

Of course, taking a picture like that takes a lot of planning. Rainee says she uses Transit Finder to know exactly when and where to be to capture the ISS passing by. She checks it daily, down to the last two hours to make sure the location or time hasn’t changed. “It could change slightly and I may have to make adjustments accordingly,” says the photographer. “Timing is everything!”

The photo is actually a composite of two pictures: a closeup of the ISS and a picture of the Sun’s surface

Photo source: Twitter

“Strangely, besides that fake spot, in this recent two-image composite, the Sun lacked any real sunspots,” wrote NASA. “Sunspots have been rare on the Sun since the dawn of the current Solar Minimum, a period of low solar activity. For reasons not yet fully understood, the number of sunspots occurring during both the previous and current solar minima have been unusually low.”

This is not the first time the photographer captured amazing space photos

Photo source: Twitter

“My regular go to set up is an approved dedicated solar scope safe for viewing the sun (this is extremely important as you don’t want to damage your eyes!), an astronomy mono cam, a laptop and my phone,” said Rainee when asked about taking space photographs. “I then use four different programs to post process as they all have their roles in doing different things to achieve the final image. It’s a bit of a process but I really really enjoy it.”

Photo source: Twitter

Rainee says she’s only started to doing space photography quite recently. “What really got me was our 2017 Total solar eclipse. I drove down to Madras, Oregon and it was a sight I’ll never forget,” says the photographer. “I’ve always loved the sun and find it so interesting. I could image it a thousand times and still see something different every time.”

“It was a true honor and privilege to have my photograph selected as an APOD and one I wouldn’t ever forget,” concluded the photographer.

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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International Space Station, ISS, NASA, Rainee Colacurcio, space photography, sun
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