The silhouette of the International Space Station against the sun looks like a TIE Fighter!
While the Moon was busy passing between the Sun and Earth on January 4 for the first eclipse of 2011, the International Space Station (ISS) made its own pass between them. Powered by the Sun, orbiting the Earth, a satellite like the Moon—the ISS is an expression of how humanity is connected to and keeping an eye on all three bodies. This photo was taken by astrophotographer Thierry Legault, who set up near Muscat, Oman, to capture this view at 1:09 p.m. local time (9:09 UTC) on January 4, 2011. He had to shoot quickly, as the transit of the space station through the field of view lasted just 0.86 seconds. The ISS was moving at 7.8 kilometers per second (17,000 mph). The disk of the Sun is partly obscured on the lower left, as the Moon is 20 minutes past the maximum eclipse. The edges of the image are black because the light filters are strong, like a welder's mask, to prev...