Tuesday, February 02, 2016

more ISS data found

I've encountered another weird situation with my International Space Station flyover video recording attempts.

I shot some frames on the evening of August 16. On this occasion I attached the Canon DSLR to the Tele Vue 101 refractor in hopes of seeing the ISS in the wider field of view. Overall, the session went well although I forgot to hit the Record button early on. Consequently, the pass was already in progress and I didn't get that much data.

At the same time, I was watching the station in the Celestron 14. It was nearly centred (grrr!). The view was spectacular. So I knew the Paramount was working well. Ian D popped into the observatory to have a look, enjoyed the view for a few seconds, and then, for some reason, the ISS went out of the field. I stopped recording.

When Backyard EOS downloaded the video file, I had a quick look. And, at the time, I did not see anything. I might have immediately deleted the video file, perhaps thinking I'd save space. Which would explain why I can't seem to find the AVI file anywhere.

But tonight, in the continuing reorganisation of video and photo files, I had a look at the 80+ frames captured that evening. And immediately noticed a white spot in the first few frames. Whiskey tango foxtrot?! I zoomed it. That's no star! That's a space station!

I was reeling! How had I missed this? I finally got it! It worked! It all worked! Where was the video file? How could I have forgotten to start recording? More found data. Wow.

Perhaps I did not see the ISS in the video or the frames at the time for a couple of reasons: it is very small, given the Tele Vue's short focal length; if I ran the video in a small window, it would have further diminished the size; and I was likely operating in low light mode, with a red theme, red film, and reduced brightness.

It's been an interesting couple of days, wading through all these old image files. Overall, I'm pretty happy. But it is making for some hard learned lessons:
  • Don't forget to hit Record.
  • Don't get distracted.
  • Record the full pass or flyover. Don't think to start part way through or stop early. Record the entire duration. You can crop the video file later.
  • Don't stop recording if the target drifts out of the field; it may come back.
  • Don't immediately delete files.
  • Review (the next day) at high screen brightness, at full resolution, in white light mode.
  • Breathe.
The exciting thing about all this, is that I'm close. Very close. I have a good working system. I just need a little dash of luck, the ISS in the centre of the camera's field of view on the long focal length 'scope, and I'll have a very interesting video...

No comments: