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ISS with a 60mm refractor?


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Is it possible? If so, I'd very much like to know how I can go about spotting it? I have Stellarium but obviously that isn't set up to track something like this. Is there anything else I can use to track it? I'm very new to this in general so maybe I'm setting my aims a little high...

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You're biggest challenge is going to be tracking it. I don't know what mount you have, but it's going to have to track very fast to keep up. You might find if you mount your scope on a camera tripod, release all tension in the joints, that will allow you to find and track the ISS as it passes. I'd expect, you'd be able to see some shape in the structure. Probably want to keep to lower magnifications and get used to tracking it, before venturing to use higher powers.

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I've just installed the plugin for Stellarium and DAYUM they're fast! I heard they're fast but I didn't expect that. I'll have a go at using the lowest magnification then and see if I can spot it at all tonight, I will post pictures if I get anything!

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It is a dot, a bright dot but a dot.

It will probably be moving too fast to track reasonably with a scope unless the field of view is quite big, which means low magnification. So we are back to a bright dot:D:D:D

The best I have found is to stand patiently getting cold and find it by eye, then use binoculars.

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i actually got caught by surprise by the ISS a week ago (embarassing to say the least) had the dobs out but no eyepieces with me as it was cooling down, i managed to track the ISS witht he finder and once i got "tuned in" to the motion it was surprising ly easy to keep it in view. the next time its visable early morning here i intend to have a serious go at viewing it, probably with the C80 ED / AZ3 combination with everything slackened off.

i've tried a few practice runs tracking the airliners going over which isn't too bad and the apparent speed is similar but the local RAF hawks are almost impossible to follow and the police helicopter seemed rather put out at being watched :headbang:

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I've nearly managed to get it with my Skymax on my HEQ5. Both axis clutches loosened. The problem was I only just got it in focus as the pass finished. I have tried using some software with EQmod to track it, and again it nearly worked. The tracking was perfect, just a few degrees behind and I couldn't get it caught up, although it sounded like the mount was trying to take off.

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thinking on a bit, a while back someone said the'd used their newt "bazooka" style on their shoulder to get some images with someone else to look after the focussing whilst they aimed. now thinking about it rifles etc have developed the way they are because it's easier to aim them and it makes me wonder could you build a rilfe type assemble to hold a refractor so you could just follow instinctively? a bit like the old pistol handle grips for SLRs

maybe it's time to find an old air rifle stock and fasten a dovetail to it

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what i'm thinking is the c80 (or maybe my keep in the boot mercury 705 for a prototype ) on some sort of stock assembly with 2 pistol grips (think early tommy gun ) and a skywatcher motorised foucus control fastened to 1 grip to alter the focus while you watch

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trouble is the focus will be changing as there will be a noticable difference in the distance between you and it from when it's close to the horizon and when it's at its highest.

i recon you need to get to about 100X magnification to start to make anything out. even then the idea of looking at a football pitch from the equivilent of 2 miles away doesn't exactly shout "smallest details visable" :headbang:

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re being steady, i've been dwelling on that a bit more and i'm now thinking that the bazooka idea could have merrit so i'm thinking a decent size "mount" that sits on the shoulder like a stinger missile launcher with the skywatcher reflector fastened on it's side like the sight on said launcher.

http://images5.fotki.com/v61/photos/1/106521/746788/stinger_03-vi.jpg

with a bit of weight in the mounts tail to get it balanced it could work. trouble is practicing by tracking planes with something like this is likely to get me shot by the police

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