Mind-blowing Nasa photo shows ISS crossing Moon while eerie Mars glows red

A MIND-BLOWING image of the Moon, Mars and the International Space Station has been revealed by Nasa.

The astronomical snap shows the ISS crossing in front of the Moon around 250 miles above Earth.

It was captured on February 18 in New Mexico during the morning twilight.

You can see a waning crescent Moon, flanked by a distant and eerie glowing red dot – that's Mars.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the image is the space station cross in front of the Moon.

It's illuminated by morning sunlight, and was captured clearly by photographer Paul Schmit, and his father Gary.

"I've been planning this shot for about a month, keeping my fingers crossed that some of the complicating factors that could have spoiled this shot wouldn't lead to a missed opportunity," Paul explained.

"At 6:25 local time above the skies of northern New Mexico, the ISS was catching its first glimpses of the early-morning sunlight hundreds of miles above the Earth's surface.

"While Mars slowly receded away from the Moon's dark side."

According to Nasa, the ISS took less than a second to cross in front of the Moon's disk.

The final image shows this left-to-right motion by merging multiple frames together, each captured in milliseconds.

What is the ISS?

Here's what you need to know about the International Space Station…

  • The International Space Station, often abbreviated to ISS, is a large space craft that orbits Earth and houses astronauts who go up there to complete scientific missions
  • Many countries worked together to build it and they work together to use it
  • It is made up of many pieces, which astronauts had to send up individually on rockets and put together from 1998 to 2000
  • Ever since the year 2000, people have lived on the ISS
  • Nasa uses the station to learn about living and working in space
  • It is approximately 250 miles above Earth and orbits around the planet just like a satellite
  • Living inside the ISS is said to be like living inside a big house with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a gym, lots of science labs and a big bay window for viewing Earth

It's an extremely trick shot to capture, and required tremendous planning – including for possible rogue weather.

"Clouds were an issue in my area, forcing me to plan multiple observing sites across a ~100-mile region and use satellite data and weather simulations the morning of the shoot to pick a final spot," Paul said.

"Luckily, everything seemed to work out.

"And at 6:25am my father and I sat under clear skies on an isolated piece of highway north of Albuquerque watching the faint, radiating 'dot' of the ISS pierce the centre of the moon in the early morning glow.

"Just moments after watching Mars suddenly reappear from behind the lunar disk."

In other news, a supersonic 990mph Nasa X-plane as quiet as the "thump of a car door" is nearly ready.

Nasa recently revealed a surreal photo of Earth taken from 4billion miles away.

A space rock shaped like a snowman that formed 4.6billion years ago may have sparked life on Earth.

A lost planet in our Solar System was gobbled up by Jupiter billions of years ago.

And, here are five times the world was supposed to end… but didn't.

Do you think holidays to space will ever be common? Let us know in the comments!

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