Photographer Captures the ISS Looking Like the USS Enterprise


Dumitrana, Romania-based astrophotographer Maximilian Teodorescu recently got his hands on an 1800mm f/12 Maksutov telescope and decided to put it through its paces this past weekend. He decided to test out the imaging quality by using it to photograph the International Space Station passing in front of the moon in broad daylight. The beautiful photograph above is what he ended up capturing.

In the past Teodorescu had captured a number of photographs of the ISS’ silhouette passing on front of the Sun or the Moon, but this time the space station was fully illuminated — in fact, it was even more bright than the moon in the background. The Sun was still hanging at around 26 degrees above the horizon at the time.

The original, uncropped photograph

The original, uncropped photograph

Teodorescu shot the photograph using a Canon 550D looking through the telescope. It was an ISO 800 image with a shutter speed of 1/1250s.

Spaceweather writes that the ISS passes in front of the face of the moon for just “a fraction of a second” (around 0.6 seconds) as it orbits our planet at 17,000 miles per hour. Teodorescu looked up exact transit times using CalSky and then used his reflexes to nail the shot.

After seeing the photograph being shared online, actor George Takei, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, commented on Facebook: “My goodness, from this angle it looks like a certain starship I once flew.”


You can find a larger version of this photograph over on Teodorescu’s blog.

(via Spaceweather via Imaging Resource)

Image credits: ISS photograph by Maximilian Teodorescu and used with permission. Enterprise image courtesy of the National Air and Space Museum

  • Jeffrey Friedl

    For this crowd, you’d want to cite the telescope focal length (1800mm), not its aperture width.

  • Michael Zhang

    Thanks for the suggestion Jeffrey! Post updated. :)

  • Pascal

    Very cool!

  • Rob S

    IDK…looks more like a Defiant class starship

  • 5432dfdd232223e

    i can make a rendering that looks much better….

  • Monteraz

    For total awesomeness, Chris Hadfield shooting him at the same time from the ISS please.

  • A_Lwin

    Beware, the Borgs have traveled back in time to make sure First Contact does not happen.

  • A_Lwin

    No you don’t. You’re life is just fine :)

  • Alin Tolea

    You forgot to mention George Takei _failed_ to mention the source of the photo or give credit to Max Teodorescu. Also, your “uncropped” photo is not the original, it’s a modified version with no copyright notice. That, my friends, it theft.

  • Mihai Curtasu

    Seriously now??? Where the hell do you get the nerve to say “The original, uncropped photograph” and then put up a link to the photographers’ blog… where actually there is the ORIGINAL image… and mind you… NOT CROPPED and copyrighted!!! Seriously???

  • Michael Zhang

    Hi Alin. Thank you for your concern, but as we state at the bottom of the post, we received Max’s full permission to feature his photograph in this post. :)

  • VoiceOfReason

    Please see post above. And apologize.

  • Rob S


  • Mihai Curtasu

    I saw. NO.

  • Caca Milis

    Beautiful shot, after seeing so many shots of the Earth from the ISS it’s weird to the ISS from Earth

  • Gord

    They have his permission, what more do you want?

  • Kelly

    To get mad for no reason because it’s the internet instead of being a nice person and just admiring the amazing photo this is.

  • Rob S

    Lead by Locutus!

  • hahaha

    Given the lack of contrast in the picture, I assumed he uses mirror telescope.

  • ProtoWhalePig

    All Maksutovs are mirror-based, so yes.