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International Space Station - 9:33:16 PM June 8, 2008 from Carmel, IN
There are some very nice pics of the ISS made with small telescopes, so I thought I would give it a try. This was my second attempt at photographing the ISS (the first attempt was a complete bust as I never even got the ISS in the field of view) through a telescope. I put some thought into the best way to do with a mount that won't track the ISS (I use a Losmandy G11), and I managed to get it in eight frames. Oh, the camera was a Canon D30 shooting in 'raw' mode, through an LX200 f/10 OTA, ISO 800 at 1/500th of a second. I used the D30 instead of a dedicated astronomical CCD camera because I, 1) wanted a color image, and, 2) wanted the largest field of view I could get! Of course the image scale suffers because of the large FOV, but it was very difficult (and I was VERY lucky) to get the ISS in eight frames, yet alone have a few of the frames be sharp. The 'bad' news was that by the time I finally saw it and got it in the field of view, it was nearly halfway down to the horizon, and instead of looking at it from almost directly below (this pass reached a maximum of 70 degrees elevation), I was looking at it 'scrunched up', so to speak, and further away than had I caught it at it's maximum elevation.
I'm not sure I'll try this again anytime soon. It was fun to get this image, but it required 'unaligning' the mount so that all the hard work I did getting it drift-aligned was lost. Another clear night or two was then spent realigning the mount...a higher price than I want to pay again given that Indiana isn't Arizona, and clear nights here are rare enough.
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E-mail me at john dot ruthroff
at theastroimager dot com
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