A stunning image of the International Space Station against a backdrop of the moon has been captured by Andrew McCarthy. While taking to Twitter, McCarthy said that he clicked the image of the ISS while it was orbiting 400km above Earth. He also said that he took the image while on a roadside in Sacramento, California and further added that the rare shot of the reorientated view of the station had instantly become his “favourite captures”.
At 2:44am this morning, I positioned myself so the ISS would pass between the moon and I to get this picture. What I didn't expect- was for the ISS to look so much different than usual. #astrophotography #space #opteam pic.twitter.com/QBrn1tBE5C— Andrew McCarthy (@AJamesMcCarthy) February 28, 2021
The image, which was captured at about 10:44 GMT on March 1, is remarkable because of the orientation of the ISS at the time it was taken. It is also special as McCarthy was able to take the picture the exact second when the orbiting lab grazed across the Copernicus crater on the moon before it disappeared. The astrophotographer said that this lunar impact crater is visible with binoculars slightly northwest of the centre of the Moon’s Earth-facing hemisphere.
The image shows the solar panels that usually lie flat at each side of the station, shifting at different angles due to the spacewalk, adding to the uniqueness of the photograph. According to DailyMail, McCarthy said that this is one of the “rare times” where one can observe changes in the structure due to a mission easily from Earth. He added that in this image one can see how the solar array has been reoriented so the crew of the ISS can install new hardware.
Meanwhile, since shared the image has garnered thousands of likes and comments. While one user called it a “fantastic shot,” others called it “incredible”. One user wrote, “Looks like a bug splattered on the window. The fractals surrounding ISS add a nice effect. In all seriousness, though, very nice shot”. Another added, “Wow just spectacular! Thank you for giving us this phenomenal moment in time”. “This is amazing,” wrote third.
If you zoom enough you can see the astronauts working, one of them smiling to the camera.— Vany (@Vidu2004) March 1, 2021
This is such an amazing shot, thank you so much for sharing!!— Monique "Moxie" Garcia (@CosmosCondition) February 28, 2021
Amazing Andrew!! Taking this kind of picture is clearly on my wish list😁👍👍— Santosh Chowdhury (@sannit1) March 1, 2021
Perfect exposure showing the subtle color on the moon's sutface— @john_kaser (@john_kaser) March 1, 2021
Great shot!— Lauri's Husband (@HusbandLauri) March 1, 2021