Lucky Shot! Skywatcher Captures Space Station Soaring Over Vienna

ISS over Vienna by Raudonis
Matthias Raudonis took this image of the ISS over Vienna on June 10, 2016. (Image credit: Matthias Raudonis)

Skywatcher Matthias Raudonis had only one chance to catch the International Space Station (ISS) over Vienna. With a bit of luck and precise timing, he captured the shot.

Raudonis was in Austria on a student exchange program from Germany. He'd planned to photograph the space station and noticed there was only one evening where the magnitude and trajectory was right for the image – June 10, 2016.

"I went up to the rooftop of my apartment tower. I was lucky because the sky was almost clear and I waited eagerly for the ISS to show up," Raudonis wrote in an email to The International Space Station is the largest spacecraft ever built and can easily be seen by the unaided eye if you know when and where to look. You can use our Satellite Tracker page powered by N2YO to find out. NASA also has its own space station tracker to help you find out when to see the orbiting lab from your location. [More Photos: Spotting Satellites from the Ground]

 The space station is currently home to a crew of six: three Russian cosmonauts from Roscosmos, two Americans from NASA and a French astronaut from the European Space Agency. As a permanently occupied outpost in outer space, it serves as a stepping-stone for further space exploration. The space station flies at an average altitude of 248 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth.

"I really like this picture because the ISS is clearly visible, despite the light pollution of this big city," Raudonis added. 

You can see more amazing night sky photos by our readers in our astrophotography archive here.

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for She began writing and producing content for in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.