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Thread: High Magnification Footage of the Hubble Space Telescope

  1. #1
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    High Magnification Footage of the Hubble Space Telescope

    I've developed some new satellite tracking software for the LX200 (and potentially ASCOM as well, though that is currently untested) which automatically tracks satellites initially based on their orbit and performs rapid guiding with a viewfinder or guidescope video camera automatically, making LEO satellite tracking as simple as point and click. I'm going to be uploading the source code to GitHub shortly and I hope I can share it here (I was rejected from posting it over on another popular astronomy forum which will go unnamed). I was able to automatically track the Hubble Space Telescope and keep it in the view of my prime focus mounted Canon T5i with a 2x barlow for an effective focal length of 4 meters with my 8" LX200, all hands-free. Near the peak of the pass Hubble's optical tube actually resolves into a distinct elongated shape. I've actually repeated this over the last few days and the orientation of the telescope appears to be roughly the same each time, suggesting the telescope is parked while NASA works on the gyroscope issue.

  2. #2
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    Great video. Nicely done.

    But:
    Quote Originally Posted by NGCHunter View Post
    ...the orientation of the telescope appears to be roughly the same each time, suggesting the telescope is parked while NASA works on the gyroscope issue.
    Doesn't the scope normally stay situated at a specific orientation (relative to the fixed background of stars) while it is in operation? (Otherwise, it would be pretty useless)

    Why assume it's parked for repairs?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Great video. Nicely done.

    But:

    Doesn't the scope normally stay situated at a specific orientation (relative to the fixed background of stars) while it is in operation? (Otherwise, it would be pretty useless)

    Why assume it's parked for repairs?
    Over several minutes or hours, sure. I'm not expecting to see it move relative to the stars as I track it, but over different days I would have expected to see it in different orientations from day to day. It sounds like they've done some maneuvers with it while they work the gyro issue but those were probably transient tests. Once Hubble is back in operation I'll track it again and it'll probably show a change in orientation from one day to the next as it goes through its list of planned observations.

  4. #4
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    That is very cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by NGCHunter View Post
    I'm going to be uploading the source code to GitHub shortly and I hope I can share it here (I was rejected from posting it over on another popular astronomy forum which will go unnamed).
    I don't see a problem with that (note the official purple).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    That is very cool.

    I don't see a problem with that (note the official purple).
    Awesome, thanks! Well then, here's the source code:
    https://github.com/AstronomyLiveYt/SatTraker
    And here is a tutorial showing how to use it:

  6. #6
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    Wow, that's awesome!
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NGCHunter View Post
    but over different days I would have expected to see it in different orientations from day to day.
    The question being how often does the Hubble reorient itself during normal ops?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    The question being how often does the Hubble reorient itself during normal ops?
    Here's the observing schedule for this week from last year, and looking at my current observing times when Hubble has been visible for me around 10:30~11:00 UT each day, Hubble should be looking at different objects from day to day. 2017.297 means "297th day of the year 2017" for example.
    Schedule: "2017.297 09:41:29 10:49:52 1514013 Lunnan 13-001 PTF12MXX "
    Coordinates: "22:30:16.728, +27:58:22.01"
    https://slsn.info/obj/PTF12mxx.html
    Schedule: "2017.298 10:30:46 10:31:11 1476742 Sing 42-004 WASP-80 "
    Coordinates: "RA2000 20:12:40.0 Dec2000 -02:08:44"
    http://exoplanet.eu/catalog/wasp-80_b/

    Source for the schedule:
    http://www.stsci.edu/ftp/observing/w...eline_10_23_17

    Obviously the current schedule is out the window until normal operations return, but the situation holds true for approximate times Hubble was visible earlier in the month this year prior to the schedule being thrown out.

    Schedule: "2018.281 09:54:52 10:46:11 1533902 Fox 02-004 UVQSJ185302-415839"
    Coordinates: "18 53 02.6460358702 -41 58 39.560370647"
    http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/si...&submit=submit

    Schedule: "2018.283 10:33:49 10:33:59 1533607 Ferguson 07-004 NGC185-FJJIV+FJJV+FJJVII "
    Coordinates: "00 38 57.970 +48 20 14.56"
    http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/si...=SIMBAD+search
    http://www.stsci.edu/ftp/observing/w...eline_10_08_18

    Source for Hubble's schedule:
    http://www.stsci.edu/ftp/observing/w...eline_10_08_18

    So yeah, it should normally be re-orienting itself from day to day, sometimes pointing in a very different part of the sky. Of course I do plan to observe it again in the future when normal operations resume, so we'll see what that looks like from day to day. Not to plug my program too hard, but it does make it very easy to do this compared to the way I used to do it with manual corrections to the orbit-based tracking.

  9. #9
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    Sure. Go throw "facts" and "data" at me.


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