Astrophotographer Captures Astronauts on a Spacewalk While the ISS Crosses the Sun

ISS Transit with Spacewalk by Thierry Legault

French astrophotographer Thierry Legault has been cultivating his skills for many years. And all of those skills came in handy when it came to photographing a recent moment when the International Space Station (ISS) moved across the Sun. Legault's images are particularly intriguing because they also show two astronauts on a spacewalk as they moved to install new solar panels on the ISS.

So how was he able to take clear images of this event, which lasted for less than one second? It all starts with careful planning, as he turned to ISS Transit Finder to see if anything was happening nearby his home in France. Once he confirmed that the transit would occur one hour after the spacewalk started, he knew he had to be there to take a photo.

In the end, he drove six hours from his home in order to find the perfect position. Upon his arrival, Legault scoured the area for an hour before finding a place with a clear view to set up his equipment. This place just happened to be at the edge of a field where his only companions were some cows.

Luckily, the weather was on Legault's side, and he was able to get a clear view of the transit without the interference of clouds. Then, it was just a matter of timing. Since the event occurs so fast, it's impossible to manually trigger the camera at the correct moment. Legault uses a programmable trigger box with a GPS antenna that allows him to start the sequence with precision.

Still, even with good weather and everything set up correctly, there's always a risk that it might not work out. It's moments like this that get Legault's adrenaline pumping, as there's only one chance to get it right. And since the transit happens too fast to see on the camera screen, he never knows the outcome until the end.

“I have to remove the camera from the telescope and watch a hundred images one by one to check if the ISS is there, in good position, and sharp,” he tells My Modern Met.

Lucky for him (and us), all of his planning paid off. And now, astronauts Steve Bowen and Woody Hoburg have a unique view of their spacewalk.

Astrophotographer Thierry Legault recently captured a spectacular view of a spacewalk during an ISS transit.

ISS Transit by Terry Legault

He traveled six hours to find the perfect place to set up his equipment.

Thierry Legault Sitting in a Field Shooting an ISS Transit

Not only did he capture the spacewalk, but his images show the ISS passing by sunspots.

ISS Transit by Terry Legault

ISS Transit by Terry Legault

ISS Transit with Sunspots by Thierry Legault

Thierry Legault: Website | Twitter | YouTube

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Thierry Legault.

Related Articles:

Dual Photos Show the ISS and the Chinese Space Station Transiting the Sun

Photographer Captures ISS Transiting the Sun During First Solar Photoshoot

Astrophotographer Captures Incredible Photos of ISS Transiting the Sun and Moon

Astrophotographer Captures a Glimpse of the ISS Crossing the Sun From His Backyard

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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