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The ISS looks like a Star Wars TIE fighter as it crosses the sun in NASA’s image



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

NASA / Joel Kowsky

It is quite complicated to get a good picture of the International Space Station as it whizzes through the sky. It is even more difficult to take a wonderful photo by crossing the face of the sun. Applause NASA photographer Joel Kowsky.

NASA released a composite image consisting of six frames showing the ISS in silhouette as it passed through the sun “at about 5 miles per second”

; on June 24. NASA also released a short video of the transit made up of 10 photographs.

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

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

If you want to capture the ISS for yourself, both with a camera and with the naked eye, take a look at NASA’s Spot the Station website and register for a heads-up alert for when it will fly over your part of the world.


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