Visual Tracking of the ISS

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12 May 2009: First successful sighting with ETX-90

There was a good visual pass between 22:41 and 22:45 local time. It was the first time I decided to attempt tracking with ETX-90. I used the 26mm eyepiece giving 34x magnification.

Since there was no time to align the telescope, tracking was done manually. The sky was quite dark (1 hr after sunset) and the ISS very bright. I managed to catch the ISS in the eyepiece and follow it for several minutes – even until it wasn't visible to the naked eye anymore. While tracking, I lost it several times but it was relatively easy to catch it again. I also attempted to track using the motor drive and it is possible to use it by selecting the proper speed.

26mm / 34x wasn't enough to clearly see structure. I suppose I'll need at least 100x i.e. a 9mm eyeppiece FOV: ???

Required tracking speed is always less than 1° / sec