Saturday, December 22, 2012

Watching ISS Space Station or Satellites through telescope

          ISS space stations and satellites pass over sky and can be seen through telescope. Many of these are visible to naked eye as tiny dots sometimes on observation. Spotting, finding, Viewing, tracking the ISS International space station ( Zarya ) and other man made satellites is a fun telescope and astronomy activity.

This article is about, How to watch ISS Space Station or Satellites through telescope?

Following are steps to get a view of ISS or satellites through your telescope.


          1. The sky should be clear on that day or night with good weather. (Twilight better for amateurs)
          2. Get the timing of appearance of view from internet websites or apps for your town or GPS location.
          3. Get their elevation from internet for that appearance, more closer to 90 the better longer view.
          4. Find an unobstructed view spot for observation.
          5. Sometimes ISS and satellites are visible only for few minutes, be there before time.
          6. These objects are moving so be on a careful watch. Use magnetic compass or cell phone for directions.
          7. First spot these objects through binoculars. This makes locating easier.
          8. Then use the find scope and see through telescope.
          9. Subjects are moving faster so be ready to move the telescope along with it.

          You may be able to see details as indicated in below diagram. Depending on the telescope you use you will get detailed images of space station. Sometimes powerful binoculars can get detailed or better views too but telescopes are best among those results of image quality. The advantage with binocular is you can move it faster and easily to spot and follow the satellite though the view is smaller due to less magnification.

          If you fail to do so repeat it on good view day with better elevation or timing. Once you have practiced above you can try for taking pictures too with same steps. If you are lucky you can see Soyuz Capsule docking to space station some day. A computerized higher end telescope can do these steps by itself electronically but you can get similar type results with skilled usage.

1 comment:

  1. sputnik iphone app is a great help for spotting exactly where the ISS will appear