Spectacular Space Station Moon Dash: Big Pic

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Image credit: NASA

Jan. 6, 2012 — The right place at the right time... that's all it took (along with some great camera skills!) for a NASA photographer at Johnson Space Center in Houston to capture some fantastic photos of the International Space Station (ISS) passing across the face of the moon!

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The image above, made from a series of photos captured on Jan. 4, shows the ISS making its trip across the sky. This time its voyage took it directly across a waxing gibbous moon.

The ISS is currently about 248 nautical miles above the Earth, traveling at a staggering 17,000 mph (28,163 km/hr). At that speed it circles the globe 16 times a day. When it passes overhead it can be the brightest manmade object in the sky, often outshining commercial aircraft and even planets!

You can find out when the ISS will be over your location here.

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If you haven't seen the ISS pass overhead before, give it a try... it's quite a feeling to know that you're looking up at an 860,000-lb structure the size of a football field that's occupied by an international team of engineers, scientists and astronauts. And who knows... they may just be looking back down at you at the same time!

Learn more about the ISS here.

--by Jason Major