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stolenfeather

It's not great but I did catch the ISS on video.

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For a couple of weeks now, I have been obsessed with the International Space Station. This is rather peculiar on my part since I am usually this passionate about the natural world, not the one created by the means of human technology. However, to indulge in the knowledge of the natural world one must also hold a deep respect in the technology that helps us achieve this knowledge in the first place. The ISS is therefore a crucial step in obtaining this knowledge as well as the efforts of all the astronomers out there.

Why am I obsessed with the ISS?

star.png It was build here on earth yet outshines most celestial objects at night (especially if the moon is not around).

star.png It travels across the night sky with such a speed that it poses quite a challenge to see with a telescope and even with binoculars. You can therefore imagine how hard it would be to capture it on camera (yet I did).

star.png In my northern latitude, darkness takes time to fall. Even at midnight, some stars still have not made their appearance. With a full, waning or waxing gibbous moon (like we've had the last week), this makes it nearly impossible for me to chase Messier objects. Well, I could but the view would be better if more darkness was available so,.. why not chase something who's brightness demands attention?

Let me make this clear before you view the video below: I used my old point-and-shoot camera to capture this (I forgot my new one at school) and I own a Dobsonian telescope. Although it has great light capturing abilities, the only guidance it offers me when looking at the night sky is the guidance I offer. Following a moving object like the ISS and capturing it on camera is therefore practically impossible so,...

I cheated and caught it on video instead. It is not my best project but was definitely my HARDEST!

Uhmmm,.. I'm sure you'll recognize my Pink Floyd signature at the end!

For video click

Isabelle

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Well done Isabelle!! :)

Wow!! It certainly streaks past fast huh??:)

(Looking promising here for a bash at it tonight!)

Vicky.

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Thanks Vicky!

It really does go fast! I have no idea how the others have captured such detailed pictures of it! There was no way I could do that with my Dobsonian! Hats off to all the ones that did capture it though! That is HARD! The ISS truly does go by fast. All I could see with my telescope was a streak (albeit a close-up streak).

I hope you get your chance!

Isabelle

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I caught it in my Dob earlier in the week. It really does whizz past, but I could follow it for a few seconds at least. I posted a drawing I made in the sketching forum. I think when the clouds go away I will try and get a video of it as well :)

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Well done Isabelle on capturing surly one of the hardest things up there!

It always amazes me how people do it, with all the weather and timings involved Thats dedication to a hobby..:)

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Thank you so much Glen! It did take a lot of preparation and well,.. LUCK! Thank you so much for your genuine encouragement on this project!

Isabelle

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LOL! Well I fly from the ground right? "Just an earth bound misfit I" And now the signature comes full circle.

Isabelle

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LOL! Well I fly from the ground right? "Just an earth bound misfit I" And now the signature comes full circle.

Isabelle

This lot were flying a long time ago :)

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I like what you did with the music.Went to see Roger Waters 4 weeks ago performing "The Wall". Awesome.

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I would have loved to have seen it Adam! Seeing the video I simply heard the song, "Learning to Fly" and had to include it!

Isabelle

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Isabelle, I had to watch it again, because I blinked the first time! Thanks for sharing this! I thought it was fantastic that you caught it on camera. :)

Well done!

Edited by Telrad

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Ha! Ha! It's pretty fast! Thanks for your encouragement. I won't be heading out today, storm clouds are rolling in!

Isabelle

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Great video! Damn that is good, especially when you think about how fast it is going. I caught a few views last night but that was in my widest ep and even then it was hard to keep up!

How on earth do people used their mounts to track and image it?

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Ha! Ha! It's pretty fast! Thanks for your encouragement. I won't be heading out today, storm clouds are rolling in!

Isabelle

Isabelle, it's been unbelievable here with the amount of cloud cover recently and raining on and off too..I'm hoping to catch the ISS in its next flyby when the skies clear! - fingers crossed! :)

Edited by Telrad

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You know,...

I just looked outside and the clouds are dispersing. Maybe I'll have the time to do some serious viewing tonight but I have to wait so long for inky black skies! I waited till midnight yesterday and at my latitude, there were still some stars not visible!

Isabelle

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For a first video, that is very good.

Was that without using the telescope ? If so, I'm amazed I've never seen one of those in the sky "accidentally"!

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It was using the telescope at the lowest power. Like Adam, I wonder how others are able to track it. It is so fast! For my part, I used Stellarium to find it's trajectory and then aimed for a star it would be passing by. That white thing you saw swoosh by is it. I wouldn't think of trying a higher magnification! It would be even faster! Hats off to those that can do it. To tell you the truth, I think I'll stick to using binoculars from now on.

I have to say however,.. there's a part of me that wants to try again but with a better camera. I doubt it will make any changes to the end result though. Fast is fast,.. there's no way around it. Without a tracker and a Dobsonian,. my hands are tied!

In the end, I like knowing it's there and what it represents to the technological world of astronomy.

Isabelle

Edited by stolenfeather

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Isabelle, a fellow I chat with ion Twitter - @Astroguyz - has a video of the way he does it. It's very clever:

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It was using the telescope at the lowest power. Like Adam, I wonder how others are able to track it. It is so fast!

Isabelle

In answer to those asking how others do it. The attached thread explains in detail how to image ISS through a Dob with only manual tracking. Images taken by my good pal EaglesEye.

http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-widefield-special-events-comets/140441-iss-webcam-images-good-friday.html

I've yet to try it myself, but have plans....

Oh, Isabelle, good to see your post - I'm pleased you captured it, but probasbly should be in the "Imaging - Widefield, Special Events" section. I suspect there's lots of folks who do imaging that don't regularly check the "Observing - Discussion" section.

Edited by Astrokev

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