ISS, 2020-04-04



-Celestron NexStar 8 SE (optical tube only)
-Levenhuk ATZ mount
-NPZ red filter 1.25″
QHY5III178m camera.
Location: Russia, Anapa, backyard.

On an April evening, I tried to photograph the ISS through a telescope. I’ll tell you a little about the shooting technique itself.
1. To track the nearest flights of the ISS, I use the ISS Detector app.
2. The ISS moves very quickly (up to a degree per second), so it is advisable to lead the telescope behind it as accurately and smoothly as possible. For these purposes, I decided to use an azimuth mount with fine tunes. The main inconvenience is that it is difficult to shoot near the zenith region, but the rest of the sky is quite accessible.
3. The shooting is carried out on a high-speed astrocamera QHY5III178m. I set the shutter speed to 1 ms (1/1000 s) to reduce blur from manual tracking. The recording frame rate is 50 fps, the frame resolution is maximum (3056×2048).
4. The camera is monochrome – to reduce the effect of atmospheric turbulence, I installed a red filter NPZ..
5. To track the ISS, I installed a 6×30 optical finder with a crosshair on the telescope tube.
6. Before shooting the ISS, it is necessary to focus on a bright star or the moon and no longer touch the focus knob.
7. In order to avoid overexposure or overexposure of the image, when setting the parameters, you can use the surface of the moon. However, the brightness of the ISS may change during the shooting process.
8. With a camera pixel of 2.4 microns, I decided to leave the relative aperture of the telescope 1:10 unchanged.

Shooting process: I see the ISS, turn on the recording on the computer, point the telescope to the ISS and then accompany it with micrometer screws. I then open the captured video in PIPP and crop, the frames without the ISS are dropped.

Below are single frames from videos:

ISS, April 7, 2019, 19:28

I decided to try capturing the ISS with the QHY5III178m astrocamera. Prior to that, he shot on a SLR camera in single shots. To reduce the impact of turbulence, I decide to add a red filter NPZ. As before, the survey was performed with manual tracking. Yesterday I also tried to take pictures – quite successfully, but a little bit overexpose a picture. Today I have set a smaller gain, I left the same exposure – 11000 s. Alas, the SSD was quickly filled, so I did not have time to shoot the entire span. However, the result is positive. I will continue to hunt for the ISS.


-telescope Celestron C8
-mount Levenhuk ATZ
-red filter NPZ
-camera QHY5III178m (3056×2048@50fps).
Location: Russia, Anapa, backyard

Some best single shots:

Scroll to Top