By Nadine Rebekah Fandalian

Acquiring an image of a planet is an experience, but to witness an entire transit travel closely to a planet is an achievement.

Photo Courtesy of Earth Shaker

Paul Go was able to capture the International Space Station (ISS) cross in front of Jupiter last June 15, 2022 at 4:59 AM.

The success did not happen in a single click of a camera, but rather was the result of relentless perseverance. The spectacle was achieved later on after non-stop researching and planning, while facing the cycle of trial and error to reach the goal. There needs to be an exact location and period to frame a great phenomenon.

Video Courtesy of Paul Go/Earth Shaker

"We drove for 19 km at 3:00 AM (PhST) and parked at the side of the dark road. We were panicking when the mount was not tracking but quickly fixed it by updating the location. We had to make sure the ISS was not overexposed by underexposing Jupiter a little bit since they had a magnitude difference of 1.1," said Go on a caption.

But with the ISS traveling on an average of more than 27,000 kph at the height of 420 km, capturing a shot requires a faster shutter speed to "freeze" the ISS for a clearer quality of an image. Paul expressed that they weren't able to aim for a steady capture next to the Gas Giant, hence the blurry image.

The scene was snapped using a planetary camera through a unique telescope set-up, wherein a telescope mount was attached to another telescope.

Paul, the astrophotographer behind the images, is the co-founder of 7 Lakes Astronomy (a Laguna-based group that hosts free telescope viewings for the public). He has previously won a competition for naming a star and an exoplanet!

The entire astronomical encounter was a frenzied experience behind the camera. And although the image doesn't meet the standards of the sci-fi astronomy fantasy, the resulting product does meet the star of success and precision of a giant future for Paul Go and his team.