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ONE PHOTO – ONE STORY

02.02.2018

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“After having managed in recent years to photograph the ISS in front of the sun (with special sun filters), I finally wanted to catch it in front of the moon. When and where these events take place can be found on various websites. The whole thing is a bit tricky, because such a flyover corridor is only about five kilometres wide: if you are too far up, it flies 'over' the moon; if you are too far down, it flies 'under' the moon on the other side. The imaginary orbit on which the ISS whizzes right through the middle of the moon can be superimposed on Google Maps, with one-hundredth of a second accuracy as far as the flyover time is concerned. In this case, my location was on a small road between Gießen and Marburg. The weather conditions looked rather bad, but I wasn’t ready to give up!

Once there, the rain pattered on the windshield of my car. I was getting nervous and looking at the sky, when I noticed a hole in the clouds that I might be able to use. The rain slowed down and I fitted and positioned my tripod in record time, and activated a small electric tracker – otherwise, at high magnification, the moon quickly slips back out of the image field. Once the tripod with tracker was ready, I was able to screw on the Apo Televid 82 at 25x magnification. Thanks to a large field of view, I found the moon quickly and centered it in the image, then set it to 50x (about 1000mm focal length). Next I quickly attached the Leica Q using an adapter and then connected it to the spotting scope. Finally, the camera settings and focus had to be adjusted manually. Ready! With the Leica Q set on continuous mode, I pushed the button at precisely 22.45 and 51.8 seconds. I captured the Space Station in four shots, which I have joined together in this image.”
© Oliver Stiehler

Oliver Stiehler

Born in 1980, Stiehler is a graduate engineer in the field of fine mechanics and micro engineering, who is working for Leica Camera AG’s process development sport optics department. In addition to astronomy and astro-photography, archery is among his other interests.

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