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 0.5°x0.5° 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 was an incessant chase for 3-4 years until July 28, 2005 when the ISS (with STS-114) was finally captured transiting against the Sun and which included the space shuttle Discovery. Approximately nine months later, the ISS was also caught transiting the rising moon (click here) albeit at a very low altitude. My best ISS transit capture occurred in 2010 when the ISS was at a range of 432.4 km away. During the same year, I was able to also capture the ISS during the day transiting Jupiter at a range of 439.5 km as well as Mars at a range of 565.9 km.
Due to solar minimum, there is absolutely no sunspot activity visible on the Sun and which has been characteristic of many days during this period.
Note: Following my successful capture of the ISS with the space shuttle Discovery (STS-114) transiting the sun on late July/2005 and which appeared on NASA's APOD (AstroPhoto of the Day, July 29, 2005), I received many requests for instructions in the identification and observation of similar opportunities and which are now fully documented here.
Note: For a complete set of images involving solar transits of the International Space Station, click here.
Int Space Station
USSPACECOM Cat No:
109.0 x 73.0 x 27.5m
Orbit / Inclination:
351.3 x 355.1 km, 51.6°
62.6 " (ISS)
Pass Details (ISS):
Launch Date (UTC):
Aug 12, 2018
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 2x Convertible Barlow
AP 1200GTO/CP3 GEM
Canon EOS 6D Mark I
Baader BCF2 Filter
Baader UV/IR-Cut filter
Baader ND-5 (full-aperture)
2 x 1/1600 sec
RAW image format
Custom White Balance
Continuous Servo Mode
Digital Photo Pro V22.214.171.124
RAW to TIFF (16-bit conv)