Kiwi astronomer captures International Space Station crossing the moon

An Auckland astronomer has captured what he calls a "once in a lifetime" shot of the International Space Station (ISS) passing over the moon.

Josh Kirkley posted a photo and video of the passage on Monday evening, saying he had set up notifications on his phone to alert him to when the ISS was passing over Auckland.

On Monday, he got the long-awaited notification - and was able to line up a shot from his Onehunga home using a combination of a telescope and camera.

He was so shocked he managed to get the shot you can even hear his gasp in the footage.

"The actual transit happened so fast, literally over in the blink of an eye," he wrote on Instagram.

"I'm so great full (sic) to be able to capture this, it's been something I've wanted achieve since I started astronomy 4 years ago.

"Literally a once in a lifetime shot."

Mr Kirkley told Newshub the ISS passes over Auckland two to four times a week on average, but it's extremely rare to align with passing over the moon, as that only happens once every year or two.

"The last photo of [the ISS passing over the moon] appears to be from late 2017 by NASA - but prior to that, it looks like it was last seen a few years ago," Mr Kirkley said.

"A quick Google search of 'Space Station transiting the Moon' shows you how rarely this happens. Probably less than 10 times since the year 2000 it looks like."