Key Takeaways:

  • Astrophotographers embrace and showcase stunning images of airplanes passing in front of the Moon.
  • Unlike transits of planets, plane transits offer visually captivating and awe-inspiring aviation images.
  • Approximately 10,000 to 20,000 planes are estimated to be in the sky at any given moment, providing ample opportunities for such photographs.
  • Websites like Flightradar24 assist astrophotographers in planning and capturing these unique transit shots.
  • The article features a selection of remarkable images taken by astrophotographers and readers of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

In the pursuit of capturing the celestial beauty of the Moon, astrophotographers face an unexpected yet captivating challenge – airplanes passing in front of their lunar subjects. What might seem like a nuisance to some transforms into an opportunity to immortalize the perfect union of aviation and astronomy. Unlike the relatively minuscule black dots of transiting planets, airplanes present a more visually arresting spectacle against the lunar or solar disc.

At any given moment, an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 planes dot the skies worldwide, providing an abundance of chances for photographers to compose these unique shots. Some photographers even manage to discern specific airlines and flight numbers of the transiting planes. To achieve these exceptional images, astrophotographers often meticulously plan their shots, leveraging tools like Flightradar24 to predict when and where a particular plane will grace their lunar frame.

While skill and preparation play a crucial role, a touch of serendipity often comes into play when attempting to capture these awe-inspiring moments. The result is a mesmerizing gallery of aviation images that showcase the harmony of the celestial and terrestrial realms. Below, we present a collection of breathtaking photographs, a testament to the talent and dedication of astrophotographers and the captivating allure of airplanes in transit across the Moon.

Read full article on Sky At Night


Jet Trails Over the Moon by Ron Peet, UK. Equipment: Canon D70.




Plane over Moon by Jody Walmsley, Radcliffe, Manchester, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 250, EQ6, Canon 500D



Moon Shot by Darrel Charles Bromham, Bedford, UK. Equipment: Sky Watcher 150P EQ3/2, Pentax K7, 2x Barlow


Fly me to the Moon…. by Tim Amy, Puente San Miguel. Equipment: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300


V for Victory by Brian.M.Johnson, Hove, UK. Equipment: 50D Canon, 200mm Lens


The other shoots from feature image by sun.moon_lover. Waxing Crescent Moon • 5.1% illuminated • 9-8-2021

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