I spy with my little eye the ISS on a moon flyby – at least, that’s somewhere along the lines of what astrophotographer Dylan O’Donnell probably thought when he captured the amazing photo above. But it was no easy task or something that happened out of pure luck. What did the photo require?
Well, for starters, you should know that everyone can spot the International Space Station, as it flies by every so often over every possible location you could think of. Yet, it’s no easy task – to catch an object orbiting the Earth at about 7.66 kilometers per second.
But add that to the timing necessary for you to catch it exactly as it passes the moon, and you’ve got impossible odds against you.
From his location, in Byron Bay, Australia, O’Donnell had only 0.33 seconds to take the shot. 0.33 seconds for which he had waited for twelve long months. With the help of the CalSky website, which notified him whenever there was a flyby of the ISS, he knew that the station had to be perfectly aligned with the full moon for him to be able to take such an astonishingly clear shot of it, and of the moon itself.
How did he manage it, you ask? Well, as the photographer himself says on his personal website (link bellow), he knew the precise moment in which the ISS would pass, and he had previously experimented with shots at that zoom, so as to know the exact settings needed for the perfect shot.
A few moments before the final third of a second, O’Donnell pressed the button for a burst shot that should’ve covered the event. He had hoped for a miracle. And the miracle had happened. Upon review, he saw that the ISS was there.
Still, that is not the final result you see above. For that result, O’Donnell shot a few more photos of the moon alone, from several angles. The result of this is that we now have an extremely detailed version of the photo, complete with a spherical effect.
The colors of the photo have been added as a bonus by the photographer through increasing the saturation of the photo beyond the normal limits. These shades pertain to the geological formation of the moon’s surface.
O’Donnell used a Cannon 70D with a Celestron 9.25” telescope (2300 mm/f10), with a 1/1650th of a second shutter speed and ISO 800.
So what do you think? Are you as thrilled by it as the photographer is? Will you be trying to take your own photo of the ISS?
Image source: deography.com