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International Space Station, 30th March 2019

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About this observation
Observer
Chris Hooker
Time of observation
30/03/2019 - 19:59
Object
International Space Station
Observing location
Didcot, Oxfordshire
Equipment
25 cm Newtonian
x2 Barlow
ZWO ASI120MM-S camera
Exposure
0.32 milliseconds
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This is a single frame from a long video recorded during an overhead pass of the ISS. I was using a new tracking technique which for some reason missed the target most of the time, but nevertheless yielded this image near the midpoint of the pass. The image is noisy but still shows a fair amount of detail in the structure of the Space Station.

Comments

Jeremy's picture

That is a remarkable image, Chris

Chris Hooker's picture

Thanks, Jeremy. If the tracking had worked properly I would have been able to stack a few similar images, which would have reduced the noise and allowed a bit of sharpening. Next time . . .

Hughsie's picture

Hi Chris, great image and thank you for sharing.

My question is how would one go about tracking the ISS to capture images for stacking?

John

Chris Hooker's picture

Hi John,

Presumably you are talking about manual tracking. Various people, especially Thierry Legault, have achieved exceptional results with automated tracking. In summary, I use a piggybacked 66mm William Optics refractor with a crosswire eyepiece, which is co-aligned with the main telescope. I attach a handle to the back of the tube of the Newtonian, to give myself more control. When the ISS appears I start recording, and try to move the telescope to keep it on the crosswire of the piggybacked scope. As you can imagine, this is not easy, and the proportion of frames that have anything in them is small. The main  difficulty is that the angular speed of the ISS varies continually, so one is never moving the telescope at a constant speed. 

If you'd like to know more details I'm happy to share them by email if you drop me a line. chrishooker1<at>virginmedia.com

Chris

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