Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Satellite Transit Gallery

I have a particular interest in satellite transits across the solar/lunar surfaces due to the opportunity they present the lucky observer to discern greater physical detail and structure as a result of their silhouette against the bright background of the sun and/or moon; the ability to restrict the satellite's location in the daytime or evening sky to an area measuring 0.5x0.5 with little or no effort; it permits for the bypassing of satellite tracking which itself is a challenge due the very short period transits are visible during a particular overhead pass; and the difficulty in obtaining accurate and timely orbital elements and TLE's. As this "search and identify" project has literally become a DAILY ritual, I expect this web page to be updated constantly with more and more images of the very unique phenomena of satellite transits across the solar and/or lunar disks.

Note: The capture of a solar transit by the International Space Station has been an incessant chase and hunt during the past 3-4 years with only three opportunities presenting themselves during this time and which all failed due to low-level clouds, strong winds and a miscalibrated cellular phone respectively. The fourth opportunity to image the ISS transitting the sun (with STS-114!) proved to be successful and included as a bonus the shuttle Discovery. Complete mission details are available here.

Note: For a three-dimensional simulated view of the ISS created using the ISS Simulator V3 software and which represents a depiction of the transitting satellite during the actual overhead pass on this particular date, time and geographical location, move your mouse over the image below.

Note: Following countless requests as to how one may identify and observe the ISS transitting the sun or moon, I have prepared a web page describing the process and which is available for perusal by clicking here.

Image Details
ISS + STS-114 Transit the Sun
Imaging Details
Int Space Station

25544 (ISS)
28775 (STS-114)

Physical Dimensions:
73.0 x 44.5 x 27.5 m
37.0 x 24.0 x 10.0 m

Orbit / Inclination:
351.3 x 355.1 km, 51.6

Range (Image):
696.9 km

Angular Diameter:
26.6 " (ISS)
13.4 " (STS-114)

Pass Details (ISS):
Duration : 1.11 sec
Angular Vel : 28.3 ' / sec
Direction : 220.1
Azimuth : 272.7
Altitude : 28.0

Launch Date (UTC):
Nov   20, 1998   (ISS)
Jul   26, 2005   (STS-114)
Jul 28, 2005
18:06:48 UT+3

Athens, Greece

AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
Losmandy G-11 GEM
Canon EOS 300d
Baader ND-5 (full-aperture)

1 x 1/500 sec
ISO 100
JPG FINE image format
3072x2048 image size
Continuous Servo
Manual Mode

Photoshop V6

Unsharp Masking
Resampling (40%)
JPG Compression