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Imaging the ISS & Space Shuttle


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#1 otagoodcar

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 06:38 AM

This is a bit of an odd question, but being a novice I wanted to see if anyone has ever tried imaging the ISS and/or the Space Shuttle through a telescope before?  Last night I saw the ISS and Space Shuttle flying in tamdem, and I took some video and a couple of pictures with my camera using a 400mm lens.  I really didn't expect much, though the short video I got of the two objects passing through the sky was kind of cool.  I have two telescopes, a 10 inch Meade LX200 GPS, and an 80 mm refractor.  I would imagine that if I got the right camera T-adapters I could turn the 80 mm into a giant lens for the camera, but I wondered if anyone know if the LX200 has the tracking ability to keep up with these types of objects as they move through the sky?  As I said its probable very difficult to image these kind of objects, but I figured there might be someone out there who has tried, so it wouldn't hurt to ask.  I look forward to your answers.

Thanks,

DC

#2 kanders2

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 10:43 AM

One of the magazines had a side by side image of the ISS through ametuer earth base telescope and as seen from space.  Obviously the earth based view through the atmosphere was fuzzier, but you could tell what it was.

I tracked the ISS with my 17.5" dob and Denk binoviewers w/ 24mm panoptic eyepieces for the first 1/3 of the time it was visible.  When it was moving overhead very fast, and I was on my tip toes, I lost it in my telescope.  I breiefly saw the space shuttle, but was WOWed with the view of the ISS.  I could see both dim orange rectangular solar pannels (with smaller rectangular grid vein structure like insect wings).  The bright white "circular" center of the H, was too bright to make out any details.  I never did see any details on the brief view of the space shuttle. ;D


Athough, I had powerswitches for my Denk, and it only takes a few seconds to switch and refocus at higher power,  I was too busy just manually tracking and keeping the ISS in the field of view.
Next time I will observe with my widest 40mm 70 deg AFOV single university optics eypiece, and I might be able to see both objects.

#3 Brent

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 10:15 PM

Glad you asked. I beleive I saw the same pictures in a magazine and it was so cool I was hoping someone like Mark or Steve would be posting some soon. If you give it a shot make sure you post some pics good luck. Brent

#4 matthewota

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 08:37 PM

Yes it can and has been done. With proper equiment it can actually be done easily. With a standard AutoStar equipped LX200, you can track the ISS well enough to keep it in the eyepiece. Many folks have attached video cameras to thier rigs and got very good results.

Matthew Ota
10 inch LX250GPS at home
16 inch LX200 Classic Protoype at Mt. Wilson Observatory




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