Seeing the International Space Station from Earth isn’t easy. The football pitch-sized station orbits at a height of 260 miles (420km), appearing as small as a distant star when we gaze at the night sky. But photographer Andy Smith has captured incredible images that show the station’s silhouette crossing the moon during its orbit of Earth. You might think the ISS is quite far above the surface of Earth. But compared to the moon, its just a stone’s throw away. The moon is on average about 239,000 miles (384,000 kilometres) from our planet, over 900 times further than the ISS. In terms of size, the ISS is dwarfed again. The space station is 358 feet (109 metres) wide, 239 feet (72.8 metres) long and about 66 feet (20 metres) high - the same as a standard football pitch. Inside there is a pressurised liveable space comparable to a six-bedroom house. The moon, by comparison, has a radius of about 1,079 miles (1,737 kilometres) - equivalent to 0.273 Earths. Considering these distances and sizes, the fact that we can see the ISS silhouetted against the moon is incredible. It’s all the more stunning that we can make out some of its features. On either side of the silhouette you can see the vast solar arrays of the station - four on each side - that generate 84 kilowatts of power. And in the centre is the core of the station where the crew of up to six astronauts and cosmonauts reside. Currently on board the ISS as members of Expedition 39 are three Russian cosmonauts, two American astronauts and one Japanese astronaut, Koichi Wakata, who is also serving as the first Japanese commander of the station. via Mail Online.
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