"Possibly my new favorite shot of all time."
Photographer and astronomer Andrew McCarthy has shared a stunning new image he took of the International Space Station transiting in front of a sunlit Moon — and the details are absolutely breathtaking.
"Possibly my new favorite shot of all time," McCarthy gloated. "I woke up at 1:30 am this morning to capture a rare scene — the sunlit international space station transiting iconic craters over the last quarter Moon."
The transiting space station was only in frame of McCarthy's telescope for less than a quarter of a second, but the photographer was still able to capture a series of images he later turned into a magnificent video clip.
Possibly my new favorite shot of all time. I woke up at 1:30am this morning to capture a rare scene- the sunlit international space station transiting iconic craters over the last quarter moon. pic.twitter.com/M3jV3WD94S
— Andrew McCarthy (@AJamesMcCarthy) June 21, 2022
Over the Moon
The tight framing almost makes it seem like the ISS is hovering near the lunar surface. But in reality, the distance between the ISS and the Moon is approximately 1,000 times the distance between us and the space station at around 250,000 miles.
McCarthy also shared a zoomed out version of the once-in-a-lifetime shot, showing off the incredible color of the lunar surface.
"The color is real, and was captured using a second camera to show the rich mineral composition of the regolith," he explained.
While the image is a stunning example of forced perspective, we could soon be looking at similar pictures that don't make use of the effect. NASA is planning to have a smaller space station, called the Gateway, orbit the Moon, allowing astronauts easy access to the lunar surface below.
And we can't wait to see what that will end up looking like from above.