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tjensen
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
ISS and Capella photo op planning
      #5542253 - 11/27/12 02:40 PM

OK, I'm not sure where to post this, but I figure this is a good place to start...

Calsky is predicting an occultation of Capella from my location by the ISS on Friday morning and it sounds like a perfect photo op. Now I'm not generally a satellite photographer but this just sounds like too good a chance to pass up. A known location and a bright start to focus on before imaging. Now... anyone have any advice on how to pull this off?

I was thinking of setting up my 10" LX200GPS with the T2i and recording video. I was also thinking of putting the Flea3 on the C14. In both cases, I was just going to center on Capella and let the ISS fly thru the FOV. I'm not sure that I would get more than one or two frames with the station, even at 60 fps (max for the DSLR) but might with the Flea3 at 100 fps.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Cheers


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bunyon
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Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: tjensen]
      #5542271 - 11/27/12 02:49 PM

What is the imaging chip on the hyperstar? Could you attach the Flea 3 to the Hyperstar?

Otherwise, your 10" at prime and the Flea.

Whatever you do, good luck!


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tjensen
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: bunyon]
      #5542342 - 11/27/12 03:31 PM

Hey Paul,
The Hyperstar is set for the DSLR. Not sure I could get the Flea3 to fit it. If I did, I don't think I would get enough resolution at F2.
So you're thinking the wider FOV of the 10" with the fast frame rate of the Flea3?


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mikotoy
super member


Reged: 06/20/12

Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: tjensen]
      #5542378 - 11/27/12 04:00 PM

Quote:

Hey Paul,
The Hyperstar is set for the DSLR. Not sure I could get the Flea3 to fit it. If I did, I don't think I would get enough resolution at F2.
So you're thinking the wider FOV of the 10" with the fast frame rate of the Flea3?




Flea3 at F10 on your C14 is going to yield a very small FOV - ~2.6 x 3.5 arc minutes. You better be very precise with it

I would go by way of DSLR at prime and use 1080p resolution in movie mode. @F10 on your C14 that should give you a FOV of ~4.5 x 8 arc minutes.


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mikotoy
super member


Reged: 06/20/12

Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: mikotoy]
      #5542388 - 11/27/12 04:08 PM

... since you are already centred on Capella, F10 with the flea3 shouldn't be too bad. Do you know how far off of Capella the ISS will make its pass or is it directly on top of it?

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tjensen
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: mikotoy]
      #5542395 - 11/27/12 04:11 PM

Well, if CalSky is right... and it is going to occult Capella, or be very close to it, then aiming shouldn't be an issue.

I do like the idea of the wider FOV that the DSLR provides, but I'm worried about frame rate. At 24-30 fps in 1080p mode, I'm not sure how many frames (if any) would contain the ISS.

I think there are a couple of flybys over the next few nights. I'm not sure they are above my treeline though. I'll have to get out and see and maybe test a few things.


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bunyon
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Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: tjensen]
      #5542408 - 11/27/12 04:21 PM

Yeah, I was thinking a wider FOV would get you more frames. Will ISS be illuminated? And how long does it take to cross 3'?

It may not work anyway. Looking at threads where they get ISS images, they manually track it so they get minutes of frames with the ISS on chip. I think you use the 10 or 14, center and focus on Capella and let it rip. You get the number of frames you get.


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mikotoy
super member


Reged: 06/20/12

Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: tjensen]
      #5542423 - 11/27/12 04:26 PM

That was my concern was the lower frame rate by using the DSLR.

Too bad we couldn't get the Flea3 connected to th Hyperstar unit ... nice FOV (~17x22 arc minutes) with a nice high frame rate. Anyone want to mock up a c-mount to DSLR adapter?


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zAmbonii
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Ypsilanti, MI
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: mikotoy]
      #5542496 - 11/27/12 05:12 PM

Here are my thoughts.

1) The night before....and the day of the pass make sure to recheck calsky because their estimates may have changed on where the ISS is going to pass. Also make sure you have your Lat and Long entered as accurately as possible. The difference of 1km can result in a big difference in the sky where the ISS could set to pass. You don't want something like this to happen when the big moment comes .

2) Calculate the FOV of the camera on your scope and then you can probably calculate just how long the ISS should be on chip during the pass using the calsky FOV and holding your mouse over the ISS track to get the time at different points. This May help you with the framerate you might want and whether to do the DLSR or Flea.

3) depending on the FOV and your feeling on how accurate the calsky prediction is you may want to have the ISS pass through on the short side of the chip, or orient the chip diagonal to the path of the ISS (greater chance of getting it on the chip).

4) THIS MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE. Depending on the pass, there may be a HUGE difference in brightness of Capella and the ISS. You are going to have to decide on how you want to handle this. Calsky should have an estimate on how bright the ISS should be on the pass, and it may be guesswork on just what settings you may want to use. I'ts going to be tricky to get the settings right so you can see both the star and the ISS in the video if there is a big difference in brightness.


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tjensen
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: zAmbonii]
      #5542535 - 11/27/12 05:41 PM

Well they've gone from occultation to "close to" which if Starry Night is accurate is a full degree away. So we'll have to see how things change by Friday morning. Might be a moot point anyway since the weather might be iffy. And I'm not too sure about the trees yet. May have to try it "by hand" just to see what happens.

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Sunspot
Postmaster
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Reged: 03/15/05

Loc: Surprise, AZ
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: tjensen]
      #5542587 - 11/27/12 06:20 PM

You don't happen to have a telecompressor to put on the Flea3 with the C14 do you? It would give a wider field and a better chance to catch the ISS. Just a thought.

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zAmbonii
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Ypsilanti, MI
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: Sunspot]
      #5542818 - 11/27/12 09:05 PM

Don't trust Starry Night, It has never been accurate at all for me for ISS positions when I try to compare it with what calsky has forecast.

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tjensen
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: zAmbonii]
      #5543376 - 11/28/12 07:58 AM

Just got a new CalSky update and they are saying "may occult" again. Still worried about elevation. I may have to go to the 10" just so I can position the scope so I can see Capalla. CalSky is saying the separation is 0.027* So I'll have to do some math for various FOV. The ISS angular velocity is 1*/s so it won't be in the FOV very long.

Hey Paul, as a matter of fact, I do have a focal reducer for the Flea3.


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Koen Dierckens
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/04/09

Loc: Antwerp, Belgium
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: tjensen]
      #5543456 - 11/28/12 09:24 AM

Hello,

Last summer I tried to capture the ISS transiting the Sun after CalSky attended me to the event.
I used a CPC925 with Focal reducer 6.3, so I got a FL of 1480mm. With this setup, the Sun just fits completely on the CCD.

I used a countdown timer on my iPhone that alerted me 5 seconds before the predicted time, So I could start taking pictures right before the event. The prediction of Calsky was right on! I could see swoosh the ISS past the Sun through the viewfinder.

The transit lasted approx. 0.6 seconds. I used a Canon 50D, which can make 6 images per second in burst mode. I ended up with 4 images where you can see the ISS.

I agree that the most challenging part will be to find a correct exposure time if the trees and clouds don't spoil your view.
I wish you lots of success with your attempt!

edit: concerning the exposure: keep in mind you always can take a picture before or after of Capella with good exposure values for the star and use PhotoShop to combine with the image of the ISS. You won't have a chance of retaking a picture of the ISS if it is not exposed properly.

Edited by Koen Dierckens (11/28/12 09:29 AM)


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tjensen
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: Koen Dierckens]
      #5543695 - 11/28/12 11:40 AM

The predicted magnitude is -3.2 so it will be very bright.
If I can manage it, I'll try the Flea3 on the C14 and the T2i on the 10". I have no idea about exposures. I'll just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best. I can't even try Venus because of trees.


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Mike Phillips
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Reged: 02/21/06

Loc: Swift Creek, NC - 35.682 N, 78...
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: tjensen]
      #5543960 - 11/28/12 02:13 PM

Yes, I too get "close to" and the centerline is just south of Holly Springs. I think this would be COOL, but can't pack anything and setup in a field. I'd still love to catch the ISS, perhaps this is a good week to try.

Thanks for the heads up Tim!!!

Mike


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tjensen
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: Mike Phillips]
      #5544302 - 11/28/12 05:51 PM

OK... here is my plan... T2i on the C14, Flea3 on the 10" with a focal reducer. When I plug in my exact coordinates, the track in Starry Night falls within the FOV of the Flea3 without the reducer with Capella centered.

Tomorrow morning I'll see if I can find a spot in the back yard that actually allows me to SEE Capella. Keep fingers crossed.

This could be fun!!!


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Jason H.
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/07

Loc: Central Florida
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: tjensen]
      #5544776 - 11/28/12 11:03 PM

Looks like you'll be catching it right before the move.

Space Station Turning Towards Sun For Experiment (on Dec. 1)

http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1112738517/iss-sun-solar-experiment-112812/

Have fun!

Jason H.


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tjensen
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: Jason H.]
      #5545012 - 11/29/12 06:40 AM

Looks like I can see Capella. I might have to cut down a tree for the C14, but that's a small price to pay Now as long as the weather cooperates...

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Koen Dierckens
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/04/09

Loc: Antwerp, Belgium
Re: ISS and Capella photo op planning new [Re: tjensen]
      #5545103 - 11/29/12 08:41 AM

Fingers crossed

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