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Novarius

ISS Flyover - Advise please.

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Hi all,

The ISS is finally due to fly over my area; live close to Leeds, UK. over the next few days; beginning 18th Sept - ending 2nd October. Two questions regarding this.

1) Tue Sep 18 @ 05:48am, Approach 11 above SSW, Depart 14 above ESE. (I am aware I have missed it today, date purely used for the questions). Am I right in I look toward the SSW and I should see it coming in, or am I completely mistaken?

2) What settings on the camera are ideal for this? I have heard it can be as bright as Venus (sceptical) but exposure wise, what should I be going for? Want to catch detail to easily identify it but know how fast this thing moves so trailing will be an issue with longer exposures.

Very newbie question yes, but, don't want to miss it, even though I have several days to get it.

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As per question one, you are correct. The station would have left the shadow of the earth when in the constellation Eridanus in SSW direction and travelled across the sky, passing through Orion, Monoceros and setting in Leo which is ENE.

The brightness of an ISS Flypast can exceed magnitude -3, not quite Venus levels but certainly brighter than anything else in the night sky (other than the moon).

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The above post is spot on, as for photos, getting a detailed image of something moving this fast would require a very complex setup as you need to know EXACTLY where it will be at what time. I have taken few long exposure wide angle shots of the ISS which I am pleased with but never with magnification.

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The brightness of an ISS Flypast can exceed magnitude -3, not quite Venus levels but certainly brighter than anything else in the night sky (other than the moon).

ISS does outshine Venus sometimes. It reaches maximum brightness at a whopping -5.9 at perigee.

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The ISS when travelling from west to east and when it is visible across most of the sky, will take several minutes to cross. When you see it above the western horizon it will be well off the Irish coast above the Atlantic ocean, and I have tracked it from there untill it disappears in the East when it is above Poland. If you have an android smartphone you can download a free app called SatTrack which will notify you of any passes visible from your location, the direction of travel, the path across the sky and also a tracking map showing the location directly below the ISS. It will also predict Iridium flares and many other sattelites. As for photography I would mount your camera on a tripod, use a wide angle lens and try to visualise where the ISS will cross the sky. Once your camera is pointing in the right direction switch to manual focus and focus on infinity. If you have a cable release then use it in the bulb setting but if not then use the longest shutter setting that is allowed usually 30seconds. Set the camera to Manual, ISO speed to 800, and the lowest f number your lens has. Before the ISS enters your viewfinder lock the shutter open and then release it after the Iss has passed. This should be a reasonable setting to start with but if you find that the sky is too bright due to light pollution then drop the ISO speed or correct this with a levels adjustment using Photoshop. If you try a few dummy runs before the actual event then you should be ok.

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Thank for the responses everyone. (just realised I made an error in the title, Adive??).

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Good adive (?) by Duke2k. This is the same technique I used to capture this ISS flyover of Altair in Aquila.

altair_is_no_more.jpg

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ISS does outshine Venus sometimes. It reaches maximum brightness at a whopping -5.9 at perigee.

Did not realise it got quite so bright. I have seen a mag -4 which is Venus ballpark, but did not want to offer that up as common. Most of the ISS flyovers I have seen are in the range -2 to -3.

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If you are using Heavans Above, click on the date and it will show you the path the ISS will take and how long it is visable - but of course you knew that! :wink:

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If you are using Heavans Above, click on the date and it will show you the path the ISS will take and how long it is visable - but of course you knew that! :wink:

Had that site bookmarked before a Hard Drive failure, and couldn't remember it when I got back up and running (did try google but only came out with the NASA site), cheers for that.

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You can also you ISS detector or SatelliteAR on Android

With the former you can set alerts to let you know when a pass or It flare is due.

Very cool when your in company and you predict this really bright light about to pass over.:)

Sent from my HTC HD2 using Tapatalk 2

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Stellarium shows where the ISS will be in the sky and is reasonably accurate. As for photos, I would suggest you have your aperture wide open and use something like ISO 400, put your camera on a tripod and open the shutter fo a couple of seconds at a time. If you're in a light polluted area then the longer you leave your shutter open for the more it will suffer from light pollution.

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Well, it got to 05:01 GMT, and over it came. Left it too late to mess with the camera more, focus was out, and should have listened re BULB and low ISO. Went with 25 seconds and 800 for the first shot, then 25 seconds with 400. I actually thought I wouldn't catch it, max elevation at 19deg, I assumed that would be extremely low, now I know how high that actually is, cannot wait for passes Thursday @ 31, Saturday @ 47 and definitely Monday @ 58, although at around 05:48 for all three, late nights are a killer. Results edited in Adobe Lightroom to drop as much LP as possible. They look terrible but, have several days to refine. Determined to get the 600mm lens on it, and see what I get.

25sec @ ISO 800

post-21816-0-86947200-1348029540_thumb.j

25 sec x 3 @ 400

post-21816-0-10517500-1348029555_thumb.j

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Thank for the responses everyone. (just realised I made an error in the title, Adive??).

Just corrected it for you :)

John.

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Determined to get the 600mm lens on it, and see what I get.

Shorter brighter line, unless you can track it.

I've had a few tries with LX200 which is supposed to be able to track it but failed miserably :)

Dave

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