Jun 9

ISS – Solar transit very very close to failure

Now this is what I call near failure!

These “almost” events are always fun when you look back at them later, but only if the endgame is positive (of course failures never make it to a video).
Weather forecast was hmmmm, well a mix bag, 10 minutes before the transit time it did not look like it will happen at all… I mean it was happening anyway but I was about to miss it because of cloud cover. But in London everything can happen as we know this from experience. About 5 minutes before transit I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, in this case the blue sky because clouds were clearing from west toward east – a slim hope for success. In this video you will see how close it was. I was still adjusting the position of the solar disk, moving the visible disk in the middle of my field of view. I was lowering the gain value in Fire Capture and quite shortly after I did this uppps the transit just happened.
I saw nothing from it since the screen was illuminated too much by the Sun, I did not use any appropriate dark shading for my laptop, mainly because mount was not right beside me. To reach the mount controller and the scope focuser this was a more appropriate way of doing it. But I knew when ISS was due to cross the solar disk so I only had to make sure I am done with fiddling around by the transit time. And I just managed that….

Of course I did not know if I captured the event or not – it kind of goes to show in the video as I keep repeating “I can’t believe it”. But I am always happy to be wrong, especially when it has a positive impact on my imaging session….



Transit prediction forecast





Finals and equipment



Skywatcher 72/420 ED Apo refractor telescope

Zwo ASI224MC colour camera
Skywatcher Allview mount
Baader Solar filter
Baader IR-Pass filter


Leave a Reply