The ISS was brilliant tonight: -2 magnitude and I hoped to get a good photo (maybe with some detail?). It was not to be – I had everything set up and took 20-30 shots at various points along its trajectory. Unfortunately, it was out of focus – pretty severely so. However, since I didn’t have much time and the D50 is difficult to focus for astrophotography anyway, I didn’t realize I was way out of focus until it was too late. I had focused on the moon, figuring that that was about the most likely focus level, but apparently, that wasn’t really good enough. It’ll be at least 10 days until it’s this bright again and maybe longer. I’ll try again then.
By the way – does anyone know if I actually had succeeded in getting it in focus if I would have seen any detail? I’ve seen some amazing stuff with done with 10″ scopes, but mine’s just 4.5″ so I know I wouldn’t see anything nearly as spectacular as those, but I was hoping there might be something a bit more than just a dot. When I saw the ISS in Iowa with my scope (no camera at the time), it looked squarish through the viewfinder – not round, but perhaps that was an optical illusion. I hope I’ll have the chance to find out soon.