A man has snapped one of the clearest photos of the International Space Station ever taken from Earth.
German photographer Sebastian Voltmer snapped a remarkable image in which you can make out two astronauts performing a spacewalk.
Sebastian captured the “once-in-a-lifetime” photo earlier last week and later shared his creation on Twitter.
“I feel like I just made a once in a lifetime image,” he wrote of the photograph.
“It’s probably the first ground-based picture showing two spacewalkers on the ISS at the same time.”
The photo was snapped on March 23 as the space station – which orbits 250 miles above Earth – passed over Germany.
At the time, astronauts Raja Chari and Matthias Maurer were clambering around the extraterrestrial lab’s exterior during a planned spacewalk.
They performed a number of minor part installations and fixes during the seven-hour, zero-gravity maintenance job.
Sebastian took the photo through his C11 EdgeHD telescope from St. Wendel in west Germany, the hometown of ESA astronaut Maurer.
He’s visible at work near the ISS’s Columbus European lab segment, while Raja appears on the robotic arm “Canadarm2”.
Sebastian’s original goal was to nab a picture of the ISS while his countryman was at work on the exterior.
NASA astronaut Raja Chari and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer are conducting a spacewalk to install new hoses on the International Space Station’s Radiator Beam Valve Module.NASA Astronauts Chari and Maurer were climbing around the extraterrestrial lab’s exterior.Courtesy of @SeVoSpace NASA astronaut Raja Chari gestures to his family before being driven to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft on Nov. 10, 2021.Getty Images / Joe Raedle Matthias Maurer, ESA astronaut on the International Space Station ISS, can be seen on a video screen during a live call with the Federal President. Picture-Allianc /Christoph Soeder
It was only two days later, following a tip from fellow astrophotographer Philip Smith, that he realised he had also captured Raja.
“Two days after the spacewalk happened, Smith contacted me,” Sebastian wrote on spaceweather.com.
“He is a world well-known photographer of all things ISS and has been published in many forms of media.
“Smith with his ISS obsession noticed on my picture that NASA astronaut Raja Chari is also detectable.”
The pair remain on the orbiting outpost and make up half of the current occupants.
Yesterday, a Nasa astronaut finally returned to Earth after Russia had earlier threatened to abandon him in space.
Mark Vande Hei, 55, arrived from the International Space Station on March 30 onboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Vande Hei and two Russian cosmonauts, Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, landed shortly after 07.28 a.m. ET (12.28 p.m. UK time).
In response to sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the country’s space agency had hinted that they would leave him behind.
Head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin posted a sinister video on March 13 that depicted the mission’s two cosmonauts flying home without Hei.
Rogozin is known for making inflammatory comments on social media in order to spark panic in the West.
Roscosmos later clarified that it had no intention of leaving Hei behind.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.