Wow! Space Station Crosses Sun's Face in Amazing Photo

Space Station Crosses Sun’s Face, June 2016
The International Space Station crosses the sun's face in this photo, which was captured by Alexander Krivenyshev from New York City on June 13, 2016. (Image credit: Alexander Krivenyshev,

A stunning skywatcher photo shows the International Space Station (ISS) crossing the face of the sun earlier this month.

Alexander Krivenyshev, president of, captured the image from New York City on June 13 using a Canon EOS 7D camera, as well as a solar filter. (Warning: Never photograph or observe the sun directly without a solar filter or other such protective gear; serious and permanent damage to your eyes and equipment can result.)

"The composite image made from five frames shows the International Space Station (Expedition 47), with a crew of six onboard, in silhouette as it transits the sun on Monday, June 13, 2016 at 15:22:12 EDT," Krivenyshev told via email, adding that he took the photos from 14th Street Park in Manhattan.

The ISS cuts right down the center of the sun in the series of photos, which also show a large sunspot to the left of the station. Sunspots are dark, relatively cool areas that serve as launching pads for solar flares and eruptions of superheated plasma known as coronal mass ejections (which explains why sunspots are also known as "active regions").

There were six astronauts on board the ISS when Krivenyshev took the photos: Americans Tim Kopra and Jeffrey Williams; Russians Yuri Malenchenko, Aleksey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka; and Briton Tim Peake.

Kopra, Malenchenko and Peake are no longer in space; they came back to Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on June 18. But Williams, Ovchinin and Skripochka won't have the orbiting outpost to themselves for long: Three new crewmembers — NASA's Kate Rubins, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency — are scheduled to launch toward the ISS on July 6.

The space station has been continuously staffed by a series of rotating crewmembers, who typically serve 5- to 6-month stints, since November 2000.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.