Although it's not the first time such an event -- called an underflight -- has been captured on camera, it doesn't occur very often.
"On average ISS underflights seem to happen a few times a year," Michael Gartley, a scientist at Rochester Institute of Technology, explained in an post by Adam Voiland on NASA's Earth Observatory blog. Two previous such underflights most recently occurred for Landsat 8 on April 17 and Feb. 23 of 2016, and before that once in 2015 and three times in 2013.
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Because of how Landsat 8's imager works the original data had to be adjusted to make the shape of the ISS apparent, at the expense of losing resolution in the cloud and surface details. (Learn more here.)
It's not just the space station that Landsat and other spacecraft have identified passing below; communication, weather, and other Earth-observing satellites have also been spotted -- as have larger pieces of "space junk," tens of thousands of which are currently in orbit around our planet.
"(Earth-observing satellites) present an unlikely tool for aiding the space situational awareness community in their task of monitoring the growing population of low-Earth orbit space objects," said Gartley, who processed the Landsat 8 images. "Although the frequency of underflights of space objects is low, the resulting signatures can provide well-calibrated location information."
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Launched Feb. 11, 2013, Landsat 8 orbits Earth collecting valuable data and images used in agriculture, education, business, science, and government. Started in 1972 Landsat has provided the longest continuous record of changes in our planet's surface seen from space. Learn more about Landsat science here.