Monday 30 November 2020

ISS Pass & A Reminder To Us All To Plan Ahead

This evening there was an ISS pass visible, however, shortly before it's scheduled to cross over I notice clouds and I'm thinking it's unlikely to see this particular one. Now that wasn't too much of a big deal, I've seen a fair few passes in my time but whenever there's an opportunity, I still like to get out there and see it. 

One thing I've been trying to improve on is long exposure pictures to catch the pass in action. This is fairly straightforward to do and doesn't really require any fancy equipment, the fanciest and most useful bit of kit would be a tripod, apart from a camera of course. If I'm honest it's likely to be the make or break item between a good and not so good shot. 

With the threat of clouds I had pretty much written off my chances of getting a good shot of this pass, that's until I look out the window with a few mins to go and notice a chuck on the clouds had in fact cleared. Not a completely clear sky but enough to get the majority of the pass. 

Below is the very rushed image I managed to grab:

It's unedited and nothing special but it's a reminder of the important to have your kit ready because from time to the time the clouds aren't always against you!

For reference below is another picture I took back in the summer when I was a little more organised. It was taken in a local park. 

For those who would like to know the settings I've used, it was a Canon 100D on a tripod with the following:

Shutter Speed: 30 Secs
ISO 200

Excellent resources for knowing when there's going to be a pass are:

VirtualAstro (@VirtualAstro) / Twitter

ISS sightings over your city | Spot The Station | NASA

Sunday 22 November 2020

Short Session In between Clouds

 As is pretty standard with UK weather, evenings here are often cloudy. Last night I was checking the forecast and was happy to see that there's chance of 'intermittent cloud' which, when you deal with so many cloud, you'll take what you can get. 

Knowing that the forecast for later in the night into the early hours of the morning meant that full cloud cover was likely to happen, I decided to take the camera and scope out for half an hour. 

The First Quarter Moon was setting very low in the South West sky. Unfortunately, the layout of my back garden makes it very difficult to see that area of the sky due to neighbours houses and tress. However, I got a little lucky as I headed further to the back of the garden that usual and was able to catch it between trees.

The purpose of this was for two main reasons, one I haven't had chance to get the scope out all that much of late and secondly I wanted to try and capture some footage so I can practice so editing techniques I'd been researching. 

The plan was to import the video captured of the Moon into Registax but after trying a little, I'm still struggling so will have to take a look at that some other time. At least for now I have the footage to go back to when I want to take that on again. 

Anyway, it was a relativity uneventful half hour with the scope and the resulting video is below. Nothing fancy, just a simply HD 40 second clip of a First Quarter Moon. If anything, I think it's proved that getting out with the scope and camera for any amount of time can often be worth it and not to be put of by even partially cloudy nights. 

46% Moon taken over Liverpool, UK through a Sky Watcher 8" Dobsonian.