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Stunning video shows the ISS crossing the Sun during a spacewalk

Published Jun 13th, 2023 6:01PM EDT
international space station over Earth
Image: dimazel / Adobe

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The International Space Station is captivating, not only in the way that the astronauts aboard it carry out their objectives, but also in how astrophotographers are able to capture it in such beautiful moments. One of the most recent ISS videos shows the station passing in front of three massive sunspots, bathing the station in a background of bright sunlight.

Earlier this week, astronauts Steve Bowen and Woody Hoburg completed a spacewalk on the International Space Station to complete the installation of a set of iROSA solar panels. As the event went down, astrophotographer Theirry Legault packed up his equipment and drove six hours to a spot in the Netherlands, where he captured the ISS as it transited the sun, just one hour after the spacewalk began.

While the ISS may look extremely close to the sun in the video and photos, which Legault shared on Facebook and Twitter, the station is actually still 93 million miles from the sun, as it orbits just 250 miles above the Earth. While it might seem like dumb luck to capture such an iconic look at the ISS, Legault says it takes a lot of precision planning and clear weather.

“Using real-time images of the sun, I estimated the position of the main sunspot groups towards vertical and horizontal directions,” Legault explained to From there, it was all about comparing the planned trajectory to others, which allowed him to place himself on the visibility path for such a capture. The result, of course, is the beautiful ISS video that you can see for yourself.

We’ve seen other captures of the ISS in iconic positions like this, including some showing the ISS in front of the Sun, where it appears almost like a black square streaming across our solar system’s star. This latest video is yet another reminder of just how beautiful even the smallest of cosmic things can be.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.