heldGaze wrote in post #17954250Ah, in reading your post I had read it as you were in Charlotte for some reason. I'm down in Reynoldstown. But like I said, my girl's mother's birthday is the 5th. So we may stay the weekend down in Middle GA and bring my scope down there to share the event with her family. But if the ISS is going to pass such that somewhere in Atlanta has the view for a double transit, forget that, I'm going to set up my telescope here in town and attempt to get that rarest of events! My girl's family loves me, they'll understand if we bail on Sunday.
Do you have places already in mind in the city for viewing this? I'm trying to think of some park where I would go to set up my telescope. My camera can run off mains, so it would be cool to have a power outlet available. But, I've been wanting to buy more spare batteries as it is. And I have a cool powerpak that charges AA & AAA batteries, and then can use those same batteries and turns into a power source for charging/powering other devices on the go. So I can probably use that to keep replenishing my camera batts if needed.
But I hadn't even setup my telescope in Atlanta until a couple days before the Opposition of Jupiter. In all the time we've lived here it's just been in the closet due to the fact that I have such a tiny window into the Cosmos.
IMAGE LINK: https://dougmoon.smugmug.com …/i-PG5HBM5-L.jpg&lb=1&s=A
It's impossible to plan to be in a certain spot until a few days before an ISS transit. The centerline prediction can even change up to a few hours before the transit.
To give you an idea of how the prediction looks and how I plan, I'll post some screenshots from the Calsky site. After entering a search for Smyrna for the next few days, it gave me this. I've circled a couple of important things. The "altitude" is that of the Sun at the time of the transit, and "distance" is to the ISS. While this transit (coming up next week) is really close to me, the sun will be pretty low and the Station will be over 500 miles away (twice as far as a transit that occurs straight overhead). The Station will be too far away for me to get a good shot of it.
However, just for the sake of an example, clicking on the link for "centerline",gives you a line on Google Maps of where (and when) to be:IMAGE LINK: https://dougmoon.smugmug.com …/i-z2GHLBD-L.jpg&lb=1&s=A
Clicking on the red squares gives you the exact time for that spot:IMAGE LINK: https://dougmoon.smugmug.com …/i-KNP3c9x-L.jpg&lb=1&s=A
I try to set up exactly on the line. I'll zoom in and find a park, shopping center, or something similar that is on the line. The closer you are to the line, the better your odds are of the ISS crossing right across the middle of the Sun.
Once you've done all that, it's a matter of setting up, synchronizing your watch to the exact time, and filling your buffer on your camera at the exact time. An ISS transit lasts around 1/2 a second. There's not enough time to see it and shoot it - it's more about exact timing and whether or not the prediction was correct.
After all that, I take a deep breath, try to stay calm, and start looking through the shots on my LCD, hoping I caught it.
After messing up a couple of times, I've gotten pretty good at catching the ISS, although not all of my shots are as good as the one I posted earlier. I'm still learning.
I hope that wasn't too long of an explanation!
Oh, one more thing - The ISS transit predicted for May 9th will happen at an altitude of somewhere around 70 degrees, which is about the same altitude of the earlier posted shot.