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ISS 8th June 2015 23:21 | by grahamxx
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ISS 8th June 2015 23:21

Camera was ZWO ASI120MC-S on my TS 65QAPO telescope. Avi video processed in PIPP Registax. ISS and starfield processed seperatly as different exposure. Pixinsight and PS used.


I have attempted this type of shot a few times now but always failed. There are so many things to get right and little margin for error. Most times I have ended up chasing the ISS with my eye in the finder. Hard do and doesn't give a stable platform. Add to that my capture software seems a bit hit and miss and keeps locking up I have felt like this target was my Nemisis. I have got a few DSLR long exposure trails but I wanted a single detail frame with some stars around if possible.


So I needed to think up a strategy. I then noticed that tonights pass would go close to M13 which is a very easy target to see. The app skyguide, gave me all the info I needed. I fast forwarded the app to 23:20 and could clearly see the ISS track almost clipped one of the two distinctive stars either side of M13. All I had to do was hide in wait at that location with telescope camera and laptop. Easy!


Well not really still a lot to get right. Based on other attempts I nudged the exposure down. My capture software showed about 45 frames per second (USB 3) so if that maintained it would be good. This was on a setting that gave me 1280 x 750 as I conceded a slower frame rate was better than missing the target with a smaller image but higher frame rate.. As it turned out, I had 16 frames with ISS in and I couldn't really have hoped for more. To focus I wanted the closest thing I could get. Moon wasn't available so my focus was on Jupiter. I set the software up to record x1 60 second clip. I had tried repeat clips previously but software didn't carry that out instead it locked up! All ready to go then. All I need is ISS. Sky was staying clear without a hint of cloud on any horizon.


First sight was just left of Jupiter. Here it comes I better get inside the obsy.


The way the track went I couldn't see the early part until it was clear of Leo. But my observatory slot is quite big and I saw it come into view well before it was close to Hercules where M13 is. Didn't want to click start on software to early as it would run for 1 minute.. I estimated about 30 seconds before it gets in my scope and I clicked start.. Horror! Nothing happend! Shit software let me down. Clicked again and it started. 😳 pheww!,


Nothing else I could do now.. So I picked up my binoculars and found M13 easily. Watched it! And there it was whizzing by. Just as predicted. So bright was the ISS that I momentarily lost sight of M13. Made me wonder if I had overdone the exposure.. After 1 minute the recording stopped. I now turned the exposure right up and did a clip of the star field as I wanted to put that into my picture later.. Here is the result. I hope you like it.


Funny to think that as I photographed this the crew were packing up ready for their departure in a couple of days. "safe trip back guys"


Processed in PIPP, Registax, Pixinsight and PS


If anybody has any tips on how I would achieve a better focus on the ISS itself please let me know. If I could just improve that I think my result would be a whole lot better. I think its trial and error time but happy to hear from you.


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Uploaded on June 9, 2015