Photographer Andrew McCarthy is known for shooting incredible astrophotography images from his backyard in Sacramento, California. He recently added two more jaw-dropping images to his portfolio: ultra-clear views of the International Space Station (ISS) crossing the Sun and Moon.
Given that the ISS whizzes across the Sun and Moon in less than a second from the perspective of someone on Earth, capturing a clear view of the transit is not an easy thing to do.
McCarthy first managed to capture the ISS transiting the Sun on Tuesday, October 6th.
“This shot was captured simultaneously with two scopes, one with a white light filter for ISS details and one with a hydrogen-alpha solar telescope for surface details,” McCarthy writes. “By blending the images together I get a crisp, detailed snapshot of the transit.”
The following week, on the morning of October 14th, McCarthy captured the ISS crossing the face of the Moon.
“[A]fter spending hours scouting for the right location, I set up my gear on the side of a road hoping to capture something I’ve never seen before. The ISS, illuminated by daylight, transiting a razor-thin crescent moon,” McCarthy writes. “Something about the way the illuminated ISS straddles the crescent gives it a sense of depth lacking in my previous transit shots.
“This was captured by recording high framerate video during the pass, and stitching together a full mosaic of the moon after the pass was completed, which was then blended with shots captured before the sun rose to get the ‘Earthshine’ you see on the dark side of the moon.”
You can find more of McCarthy’s work on his popular Instagram. You can also buy fine art prints of his work and receive other perks (including full writeups about how photos were made) by supporting him through Patreon.
Update: The title of this article originally stated that both of these photos were captured in McCarthy’s backyard. The Moon photo was actually captured from a street.
Image credits: Photographs by Andrew McCarthy and used with permission