Jan 25

ISS Saturn transit from Gran Canaria

When I arrived to Las Palmas I already knew about a wonderful composite photo taken by a german astrophotographer (see the related articles at the bottom of this post). The shot was amazing, real professional work I must say. During my stay on the island internet was not something I often used. Purely because I was busy with enjoying my time there, Gran Canaria is a mesmerising place in January. Then the news bomb went off, the guy faked the photo and tricked everyone including the two gentlemen choosing the APOD photos. Huge outcry from the amateur society, lots of heated conversations in the cyber space and me catching up with the latest news….

Before I actually traveled, double checked the app called ISS Transit Prediction just to see what if.. than realised ISS might transit the ringed planet. But I was very sceptical (coming from London lol) as always, you never know the weather and other circumstances that can ruin the careful planning…. But everything went fine, sky was exceptionally clear and everything was ready for a good attempt… Although I’ve been in astrophotography for 3 years, I mainly worked with dslr and only recently bought myself an ASI 120 MC planetary camera, I had lots of doubts about my own skills, mainly about camera settings (choosing the right gain and exposure combination), plus to fine control an eq1 mount with an ASI on it is, well let me say not the easiest…..

After all the hassle about APOD’s fake ISS transit on Saturn, I gave my very best to document the event as real and precise as possible. I booked my holiday a few months ago to Gran Canaria and was planning to take my small travel scope (Skywatcher Skymax 90/1250) with me to do some astronomy there under that wonderful clear night sky.


Here is the final result, a nice video about the best astro-moment of my life. It was uplifting, rewarding and a fantastic feeling to see it actually flying through the queen of planets.
Update: for some reason my ASI cam dropped one frame after the actual transit, no idea why. I was recording at average of 40fps, normal USB 2 port so might be the data transfer or whatever technical reason…

First of all I do apologise for the wrong date, it was taken in 2016 not 2015. It happens to me every year in January, keep using the previous year as my brain does not want change that quickly.

Skywatcher 90/1250 maksutov
Zwo ASI120MC

Related articles:


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