Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Gibbous Moon and Chasing the ISS


This evening I took the Schmidt outside to spy the gibbous moon.

I wanted to have a good look at the Moon Maiden and Gassendi before they slipped behind the trees at the end of the garden.

After about ten minutes of viewing the moon slowly but surely slipped behind the blasted trees... !

Never mind.... across I went to my favourite double Albireo.

With the 20mm Erfle in place I was able to distinguish the blue and yellow of this lovely double.

By defocusing the image the two stars exhibited an even stronger yellow and blue colour contrast.

Copernicus and Gassendi

Plato and the Moon Maiden

 Chasing the ISS

THEN ....  in the west I noticed the International Space Station racing towards me.

I wondered if I would be able to capture its image in the Schmidt.?

After a bit of frantic positioning I centred the ISS in the field of view..... for about a SECOND!!

I quickly tried to manually keep up with the ISS... and for several seconds I managed to see a decent image of what looked like two long horizontal bright bars, connected to a much shorter vertical bright bar.   

Did I see the space station, or was my brain playing tricks with me...? 

I'm not sure, but at least what I saw was not the usual star like point of light, as seen through my binoculars....

I will just have to wait, and with luck confirm my findings on the next favourable pass....  :0)

Clear Skies


1 comment:

  1. Sorry for the late response, Mark, but nice lunar images.

    Also, that certainly looks like ISS. With my Dobsonian, I've been able to track it visually, though it's hard to keep in the eyepiece, especially at higher magnifications. Depending on the angle, sometimes it doesn't look like anything recognizable, while at other times I can clearly make out its familiar structure. Whether it was luck or skill that captured that image, congratulations. I know it's not easy.