Auckland astronomer shoots rare International Space Station video

An Auckland astronomer has managed to get a rare shot of the International Space Station (ISS) from his driveway.

Josh Kirkley managed to get video of the ISS passing 400km above the earth at 27,000km/h with his Canon camera attached to a telescope.

He told Newshub he managed to get the shot from his home in Royal Oak, Auckland. Mr Kirkley said getting such video is not impossible to do, but requires some technical knowledge.

"Filming a clear shot of the ISS illuminated by the sun is real technical challenge for any astrophotographer. 

"It requires technical knowledge, proper equipment, prior planning and a lot of luck to make it happen."

Mr Kirkley works at Stardome observatory and said he only sees people coming in a few times a year with such video and he nearly missed the shot himself.

"My calculations were actually slightly off and it didn't enter the frame at all when it was supposed to," he told Newshub.

"I had to quickly move the telescopes field of view and chase the ISS in the view finder, trying to position the telescope in front of the ISS so I could get a clear video. Not an easy feat overall as I had maybe 10 seconds before it disappeared from view. "

On top of that, the weather wasn't on his side and very nearly made the shot impossible.

"It was also very cloudy at the time so I had a very small timeframe to capture it. The exposure time has to be just right, otherwise it will appear too bright, or too blurry at such high speeds."