Astronomy photography offers a glimpse of the wonderful universe beyond. It also reminds us how small we are in our own little world. The photo department at NASA recently selected its 66 favorite photos of 2016, including a stunning 10-frame composite showing the tiny International Space Station (ISS) drifting across the sun.
Taken by Joel Kowsky in Newbury Park, California, the photo shows the ISS against the sun. While the ISS is 109 meters (357 feet) wide, almost the size of an American football field, the sun is 12 million times larger, over 1.39 million kilometers (865,000 miles) in diameter. That’s the equivalent of a fly ash in a football field. But because the station runs in low Earth orbit, it is much closer to the camera than the sun, allowing a play of perspective that captures both man-made and natural space objects in the same frame.
Take a look at a few more amazing shots by NASA photographers, during the last orbital period of planet Earth: