Ghost ship

From: John Locker (
Date: Fri Oct 29 2004 - 08:41:55 EDT

  • Next message: Greg Roberts: "Obs 28 Oct 2004"

    This morning I managed to drag myself out of bed at 4am to try and catch the
    0506 ISS lunar transit.
    Bleary eyed , I opened the curtains to find that , surprise surprise , I was
    yet again , clouded in.
    The Moon was just a faint  silvery , featureless disk.
    However in true "Transiteer" fashion , I made a cup of tea ................ 
    and waited to
    see if things improved.
    They didn't !
    With 20 minutes to go I decided to set up anyway , despite the cloud.
    At  least it wasnt raining....yet !
    By setting exposure at 1/100th of a second and increasing brightness and
    gain , the main lunar features were
    pulled out of the murk by the good old LX90 cloud cutter.
    Come the alloted time , I set the video running and stared hopefully at the
    laptop screen.
    Not a sausage :o(
    I even left the camera running a minute over time in case  the station was
    late , but it never materialised.
    Then the rain came and everything was packed away rather quickly.
    Back inside I mulled over my failure . The station was in shadow for this 
    transit , but with an angular diameter in excess of 30" I should have seen 
    something .
    Had I confused GMT with BST  ?
    Checking the latest
    TLEs confirmed I *had*  been looking at the right time.
    Finally I decided to load the video file to a desktop , apply the GPS
    timestamp  and go through the frames one by one.
    There , like a ghostly spectre was the station , just visible in a couple of
    frames , looking slightly elongated due to the longer exposure time.
    It hadnt gone round the back of the Moon after all ! ( Thanks for that
    suggestion Arnold !)
    It just goes to show that  in the most foul conditions , its possible to 
    salvage something.....even if you do need Xray specs to see it  ;O)
    The station was by the way bang on time , and just as and Tom 
    Fly's ISS alert had predicted.
    Check the animation at
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