Using Orion Telescopes to See Astronauts in Space
Many amateur astronomers point their Orion telescopes towards the International Space Station every night. Earlier this month, British astronomer Martin Lewis took numerous images of the International Space Station using his home made telescope and a web cam. He happened to photograph astronaut Steve Bowen who was out on a spacewalk at the time.
(Vocus/PRWEB) March 30, 2011
Backyard astronomers have been fascinated with capturing images of the International Space Station (ISS) for years. This in itself is not an easy feat considering that the IIS orbits the earth at about 17,240 miles per hour! At this speed, it completes nearly 16 earth orbits per day.
British amateur astronomer Martin Lewis has taken numerous images of the International Space Station (see Martin’s website here: http://ralfvandebergh.startje.be/). Earlier this month, he snagged a pretty unique picture. Using his home made telescope and a webcam, he took a picture of the Space Station, and caught astronaut Steve Bowen at the same time. The image was taken on March 2nd at 18.48 UT, the exact same time when Steve Bowen was outside the Station near the Columbus Lab.
Could something similar be accomplished with popular Orion telescopes? It’s very likely. Martin took his picture with his home made telescope which is an 8.75 inch reflector telescope. For the camera, he used a monochrome 640×480 pixel webcam running at 60 frames per second. He stacked 30 of the best shots to produce the final image. Orion telescopes such as the XT8 or XT10, equipped with a comparable camera, should be able to achieve similar results. The Orion telescopes in the XT series are reflector telescopes just like Martin used on March 2nd. Reflector telescopes are very popular because their simple design makes them easy to use, affordable, and they are multi purpose scopes that are suited for multiple applications.
The achievement of Martin Lewis demonstrates that amazing things can be accomplished with an average sized reflector telescope such as the Orion telescopes XT series. It goes to show throwing money at the best telescopes isn’t necessarily required to capture a cool picture. Having said that, buying the best telescopes and accessories certainly provide an advantage. It’s like showing up to a gun fight with a knife. Sure, a knife can get you some kills but the machine gun is a lot more effective and requires much less effort!
When looking for the best telescopes there are a few big players in the commercial telescope industry and Orion telescopes are amongst these. The brand is very popular and well known amongst backyard astronomers and astrophotography nuts.
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