APY15 Royal Museums Greenwich

Winner of the Our Sun category of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition 2023, Royal Museums Greenwich.


NASA Recognitions

Between 2019 and 2022, four of my photos were recognized by NASA and published as Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD).

Since 1995, NASA has had a website called Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). On this page, only one photo is published per day, every day of the year, all related to the astronomical theme.

The APOD archive contains one of the largest collections of astronomical images on the Internet.

The published images are of high quality, including not only photos from amateurs but also NASA’s own photos and those from major observatories.

Two NASA astrophysicists receive and then select which photo will be published as the picture of the day. Subsequently, a professional astronomer explains what can be seen in the photo. They are chosen not only based on aesthetic criteria but also on the educational value of the image.

It is one of the most significant recognitions one can achieve in astrophotography, given the prestige of having NASA publish one of your works, chosen from thousands of high-quality images.

Furthermore, this NASA publication is reposted by hundreds of science websites worldwide.


The Story Behind My First APOD

Within astrophotography, one of the things I enjoy most is capturing transits of the ISS in front of the sun or the moon. It’s always a challenge because many factors must align to achieve a successful result.

Capturing a good transit photo is never a matter of chance; it requires careful planning. First, you need information about when and where the transit will occur and if it will be favorable. Second, since the visibility path is only a few kilometers wide, you have to find a location to set up your equipment. The closer you are to the center of this path, the more likely the ISS’s trajectory will pass directly in front of the sun or the moon. Google Maps satellite view is incredibly helpful for finding this location.

On Saturday, September 28, 2019, as the moon was just hours away from becoming a new moon, it was very close to the sun. This meant that the ISS would cross both celestial bodies with only a few seconds of difference. However, due to perspective, they would be visible from different locations, separated by 40 km. Initially, I had planned to photograph it in front of the moon, but a couple of hours before, I decided to travel to capture it in front of the sun. I loaded all my equipment and headed to the chosen location, accompanied by my son. After setting up all the gear, all that was left was to wait for the exact moment. At 12:46:19 PM, the ISS crossed the sun’s disk in just 0.6 seconds, and I was able to photograph it 19 times. All this planning paid off because a month later, NASA selected this image as the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD).

Map showing the location from where the photograph was taken.