Saturday, 19 May 2012

How to take a long exposure image of a satellite

Well we have had over a month of pretty much solid rain here in Shrewsbury so no stargazing could be done. So I have decided to make a post explaining the process of tracking a satellite with a telescope. At night often lots of satellites pass overhead often with different brightneses the brightest one that will pass over is the iss which is very bright therefore you don't need to use a telescope or binoculars to see it. The iss passes overhead very quickly like its a plane and will be the brightest thing in the sky apart from the sun and the moon. Once you have practised seeing the iss a few time you may want to attempt looking at other satellites like tiangog 1. Once you have seen a satellite pass over a couple of times you may want to try to image it. If you are trying to image a sattelite the best one to choose is the iss as it is one of the few satellites that you can see detail on due to its huge size. There are 2 methods for imaging a satellite they are long exposure via a camera and using a telescope to capture a close up image of it.

The first one that I will focus on is a long exposure image of a satellite. The equipment you will need for this is a camera which can take long exposure or if your camera can take short exposures you could take them one after another and then stack them using a program called startrails . Also you will need a camera tripod and preferably a cable release for your camera as this will mean that your camera does not shake will you are holding down the shutter button.The first step is to check out when the iss will be passing over your house and which directions it will be coming from. Next you need to go outside about an hour before the pass ( to give your camera time to cool ) and put your camera on your tripod and face it in the direction that the iss will come from. Next you need to set your camera to the highest exposure setting or if your camera has it the bulb setting, the final step is to set your camera to the widest aperture possible. Now you just have to wait till the iss comes into your camera view and start the exposure, and then when it is just about to leave the camera view you end the exposure. You can now edit your photo with whatever processing software you normally use. Now to you can look at your image and see how you want to improve it for next time, for instance a more interesting setting e.t.c Good luck! I will post the guide to imaging method 2 next week. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I wish you clear skies.

No comments:

Post a Comment