An Auckland amateur astro-photographer has managed to capture the moment the International Space Station (ISS) zoomed past the sun.

Stardome's Josh Kirkley snapped the spectacle from his Royal Oak home at 5.43pm yesterday.

Photographing the football field-sized space station in a single moment was exceedingly difficult, as it travelled over 28,000km/h as it orbited Earth around 400km above us.

He managed to capture it earlier this year when it passed in front of the moon, which took up just 0.00077 per cent of the night sky - an extremely small area relative to its size.

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"The sun takes up the same amount of space in the sky as the moon, so it's just as hard, if not more, to capture this in front of the sun."

The images weren't as clear as he'd hoped as the weather was cloudy at the time, so his Canon 800D camera and Celestron Nexstar 6SE telescope had to compensate by over-exposing the shots.

"I could barely make out the space station on my camera screen as I was waiting for the transit, it was just to small next to the glare of our star and happened in seconds."

While photographing the moon transit hadn't been planned, but was rather a case of good luck and timing, plenty of preparation went into yesterday's feat.

"I had been tracking a transit path for a few weeks to make sure I was ready for this one," he said.

Photographing the spectacle was an exceedingly difficult task. Photo / Josh Kirkley
Photographing the spectacle was an exceedingly difficult task. Photo / Josh Kirkley

"Nasa posted a photo to their Instagram that someone else captured of this happening the last time it happened as it really is rare."