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ISS with a 200P


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It was 1/1000 sec ISO 800.  I think it's a bit overexposed so maybe I'll try a lower ISO next time.

It was a high pass, with the ISS reaching 78 degrees.  My 200P has a Rigel finder and a right-angle finderscope.  I made sure the finders were aligned accurately and focussed the camera on Jupiter, which was the only thing visible in the sky.  I did a practice swing of the scope, in the direction I expected the ISS to move, to make sure the finderscope would be usable for the whole pass and not end up in an unreachable position.  The camera timer was set to fire every two seconds.

When ISS appeared, I started the camera, released the mount clutches, picked up ISS in the Rigel and then tried to follow it in the finderscope.  It was a bit awkward to move the EQ5 smoothly, so I tried to move it so the finderscope cross hairs were in front of the ISS and then let it catch up.

I ended up with 21 shots where the ISS was in the frame, 10 were well centred.  I picked the best of these.

This would have been easier with AZ mount, but the 200P is too big for my AZ4.  It should be easy with a Dob if you are flexible enough.

I found a NASA image of the current ISS configuration.  From this I could identify the bits visible in my image.  You can see the main truss, the two large radiator arrays on one side of the truss and a solar panel on the other side.  On the bottom you can see a Soyuz and/or Progress spacecraft.  The big solar panels that give the H shape are not visible.  These pivot and I guess were edge-on to me.

I would urge anyone to have a go at this.  It was only half an hour from starting to setup to being packed up again.  If it doesn't work it hasn't cost anything and it only needs one shot on target to be a success.  Next time I might try with a Barlow, there would be fewer shots on target but I think I would still capture a few.

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