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Amateur Astronomer Ken Lawson Captures Photo Of International Space Station In Front Of The Moon

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An amateur astronomer from Australia successfully captures a perfect photo of the International Space Station in front of the moon.

Ken Lawson from Geraldton, Western Australia was notified by a website named CalSky, about the transit of the ISS. This website contains information about astronomical observations and information online-calculator.

Precision And Perfect Timing

On March 14, Lawson was able to capture the ISS motioning between the moon and the Earth in perfect light. The location where he took the photo was just five minutes away from his house. While he only used a plain camera, which is a Canon 5D Mark IV, and an eight-inch manual telescope, the process is far from simple. In fact, he waited eight years for that flawless photo.

"You have to be exactly at the right pass," says Lawson to The Guardian Australia. "It's similar to a total solar eclipse."

The ISS is just 100 meters long and 72 meters wide. It moves at a speed of about 27,600 km/hour, and orbits about 300 km to 435 km above the Earth. When it passes the moon, it only takes approximately 0.3 seconds when viewed from the Earth. Such numbers make capturing a perfect photograph very hard.

Despite the seeming complexity of the endeavor, Lawson thinks it is possible for any passionate amateur to achieve such feat.

What's Next

Lawson is quite happy with the reaction he has been receiving from the perfect photo he took. Now, with his simple camera and $500 telescope, he is ready to take on the next adventure.

For him, there is always another thing deep in the sky waiting to be captured. In fact, he said that just the week before, the ISS passed by the sun. He tried to take a photo of that too, but it was clouded.

Childhood Dream

Lawson's interest for space and photography dates back from when he was a still a kid. He recalls that his father was a photographer, and that his room was used as his dad's darkroom.

At the age of 8, he was able to capture a photo of Saturn, which he describes as blurry and shaky. After that event, he never looked back and got hooked until this day.

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