Flintstone Stargazing

August 23, 2007

An Out of Focus ISS


ISS on 8/23/07 – Out of Focus

The ISS was brilliant tonight: -2 magnitude and I hoped to get a good photo (maybe with some detail?). It was not to be – I had everything set up and took 20-30 shots at various points along its trajectory. Unfortunately, it was out of focus – pretty severely so. However, since I didn’t have much time and the D50 is difficult to focus for astrophotography anyway, I didn’t realize I was way out of focus until it was too late. I had focused on the moon, figuring that that was about the most likely focus level, but apparently, that wasn’t really good enough. It’ll be at least 10 days until it’s this bright again and maybe longer. I’ll try again then.

By the way – does anyone know if I actually had succeeded in getting it in focus if I would have seen any detail? I’ve seen some amazing stuff with done with 10″ scopes, but mine’s just 4.5″ so I know I wouldn’t see anything nearly as spectacular as those, but I was hoping there might be something a bit more than just a dot. When I saw the ISS in Iowa with my scope (no camera at the time), it looked squarish through the viewfinder – not round, but perhaps that was an optical illusion. I hope I’ll have the chance to find out soon.

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3 Comments »

  1. Hi, Ed.. I found your post from earlier on Chattablogs about ISS passing over. I went to ‘Heavens Above’ and made sure everything was in order and I took my girlfriend out to check it out. It was brilliant, brighter than a star. Thanks for the heads up. I’ve seen the Mir, and quite a few Space Shuttles, but those were years ago. It’s been awhile since I’ve been out to see one of these. Thanks for the heads up. I’m actually a photographer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, but I don’t have the equipment to take any space shots. Thanks, again.

    -Matt Davis

    Comment by Matt|Davis — August 23, 2007 @ 11:31 pm

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I just get a thrill every time I see it. it’s really quite impressive. Hopefully next time I’ll have my camera in focus :).

    Comment by Ed — August 24, 2007 @ 9:31 am

  3. Hi Ed,I downloaded the image to see if I could pull anymore detail from your image.Unfortunately,I didn’t have any luck.As far as I can tell it is somewhat out of focus but not by much.I will give you a giant thumbs up on trying!.The ISS is a tough one to image unless it is a sun/moon transit,in which I have that notch in my belt.Due to the brightness of the ISS,I believe that a reduction in exposure time might be needed?!.Heh,I’m just throwing out a guess as I haven’t tried it myself…..yet!.Perhaps focusing on a bright star might be the needed ticket?.
    Andrew

    Comment by Andrew — August 24, 2007 @ 5:22 pm


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