ISS in telescope

From: Brian K. Hunter (
Date: Tue Dec 12 2000 - 16:31:13 PST

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    I had a decent ISS pass about an hour ago.  I was set up to use my 25cm 
    f/5.6 Dobsonian reflector to look for structure.  It was remarkably easy in 
    spite of less than ideal conditions.  It was -10C with some high haze so 
    seeing was not good.  I was using a 25 mm eyepiece which gives 56X and a 
    decent filed of view.  By picking up the ISS at about 10 degrees above the 
    southwest horizon, it was easy to track.  Even at low elevations, the fat 
    T-shape was easy to see with the width of the new solar array being 
    obvious.  As others have commented, it has a distinct orange colour.
    I am very encouraged by this observation for a couple of reasons.  I 
    accidentally used a low cost Kellner eyepiece instead of the Plossl that I 
    usually use.  (Grabbed the wrong one off the shelf in the observatory and 
    didn't notice until I was putting things away.)  Also the seeing was not at 
    all good.  Under better conditions, the views through a telescope should be 
    very impressive.
    A trick I have used that others might try when looking a bright satellites 
    in a telescope is that I put a couple of different coloured filters on the 
    eyepiece to reduce the effect of the diffraction spikes.  Those spikes kill 
    any chance of seeing the structure.    I did not use filters this evening 
    as the atmosphere was doing a good job of dropping the brightness.
    I also saw the Progess leading the ISS but for me it was a binocular object.
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