Space Station Silhouette on the Moon

APOD: 2021 December 6 - Space Station Silhouette on the Moon

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2021 December 6
The featured image shows a silhouette of the International
Space Station -- in great detail -- in front of the Moon.
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

Space Station Silhouette on the Moon
Image Credit & Copyright: Andrew McCarthy

Explanation: What's that unusual spot on the Moon? It's the International Space Station. Using precise timing, the Earth-orbiting space platform was photographed in front of a partially lit gibbous Moon last month. The featured composite, taken from Payson, Arizona, USA last month, was intricately composed by combining, in part, many 1/2000-second images from a video of the ISS crossing the Moon. A close inspection of this unusually crisp ISS silhouette will reveal the outlines of numerous solar panels and trusses. The bright crater Tycho is visible on the upper left, as well as comparatively rough, light colored terrain known as highlands, and relatively smooth, dark colored areas known as maria. On-line tools can tell you when the International Space Station will be visible from your area.

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