Back In Focus

There was a so-so ISS pass tonight – there’s a much better one tomorrow. This one was low, not the brightest you’ll see (M-2.5) but not terrible, fading into night only 30° above the horizon.


However, it was only partly cloudy tonight after several frustrating, cloudy nights, so it was time to test my theories about focusing my new lens.

(Images stacked using StarStaX)

The good news is that the focusing issue seems to have been resolved.

The bad news is that I was shooting with a honkin’ huge street light just off to the left, the neighbors’ yard lights directly across the street, light haze, scattered clouds, and a nearly full moon that that the haze lit up light a neon light. Plus, you know, the usual godawful light pollution in LA.

So I shot shorter exposures, eight seconds instead of ten or fifteen.

The next cover of  “Sky & Telescope” magazine? Hardly. A solid proof-of-concept test of my new lens, or more accurately, my ability to correctly use it? Pretty good.

Wait, what was that trick I learned yesterday?

Just remember, if you go out to look for yourself (like, maybe tomorrow!) it’s going to be a bright pinpoint, not a line, and it’s going to move at about fifty times slower. In real life this video took about two minutes and fifteen seconds.

But I do like making these little GIF’s!

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