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Old Feb 8, 2006, 12:05 AM   #1
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The website heavens-above.com gives theexact time-table of satellites passing overhead. Among those, Iridium satellites reflect sunlight at particular timings and this can be observed for a few seconds, withmagnitude near -6 or -7 (extremely bright,similar toone spark of a good firework display). I tried to capture a satellite passing by this morning.In my fear of missing the target (the sky being so wide and you have to spot a moving target in avery limited area) , I did not zoom and thus kept a good field of view. However, on spotting the target, I pressed the shutter a little too soon. Had I waited just two seconds more, I would have got alonger streak.
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Old Feb 8, 2006, 1:58 PM   #2
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Impressive Raghu, I look forward to seeing the results when you do catch the longer tail :-)
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 12:17 PM   #3
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Nice capture, raghu!

and thanks for the URL.

If you have"burst mode"on your camera, you could try that.

Burst mode shoots two to several photos in succession with just one press of shutter.
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 8:15 PM   #4
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digcamfan wrote:
Quote:
If you have"burst mode"on your camera, you could try that.
Thanks for your interest and comments. True, butburst modeis more applicable for firework photos. If you need to capture thepath andtrail of satellites, you have to give more time (8 secs max for my camera). In my photo,I think I have got the final3 or4seconds out of the 8 seconds - satellites are relatively slow moving objects, unlike meteors. Using burst here would only show the satellite, pinpointedat different places onits path,onconsecutiveframes and not as a continuous streak.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 7:44 PM   #5
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I have been watching Iridium flares for year now but just recently I got a camera capable of capturing one. My camera is not Panasonic but I just took one a while ago tonight and searched the forum to see if anyoneelse has posted Iridium flare pictures.

What you need is to use the longest exposure your camera can provide, the largest aperture, a tripod, the exact time and location of the flare and a clock synchronized to the correct time.

You have to point the camera as closely as possible to the spot where the flare will show and use the self timer. I got this one visible today which was magnitude -8. The exposure was 15 seconds which is the longest my camera allows. I set the self timer for a 2 second delay and pressed the shutter 2 or 3 seconds berore the exact time listed in Heavens Above. I think I got the brightest point of the flare right in the middle of the 15-second exposure. I used ISO 100 because 200 and 400 would get too noisy at 15 seconds.

I did zoom to maximum optical zoom because I fitted my tripod with angle scales I found in Google :-)so it is possible to get a very good approximation of the elevation and azimuth angles. The result is attached below.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 7:54 PM   #6
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This was my first attempt last night with a magnitude 0 flare but I pressed the shutter too early and the shot ended before the flare faded from view. It was almost in the same spot as today's.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 12:14 AM   #7
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Nice capture. Ever since I posted my pic, I have been waiting for a good magnitude flare, but haven't been successful. My camera allows only 8 secs, so I guess I have to be more accurate in setting the camera. Let me wait and try....
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 9:28 AM   #8
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Raghu.....

Its nice to see that your still here..:G

nice shot:G

Luisr...nice 1 from u as well:G
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Old Mar 4, 2006, 8:14 PM   #9
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Raghu

This is an option that may help. Check it out. It works great.

Have a great day.... LarryB



http://www.tawbaware.com/imgstack.htm
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Old Mar 4, 2006, 8:36 PM   #10
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The problem with this is that the satellite is a moving target and if you cannot get the entire flare in a single shot you can't possible get a continous streak. Multiple shots can't possibly produce the effect due to the lag between shots no matter how short.
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