I have the following telescope and kind of know how to set it up to look at the moon or sun (with filter of course). Other than that I am pretty much a total astronomy noob.

Besser® Reflector Telescope Art.No.46-14500 f=500 mm / d=114 mm

I would like to try to catch the ISS through that telescope. Ideally, but not necessarily, when it passes over the moon or the sun. My guess is that this is the easiest way to catch it for a noob like me.

Using https://transit-finder.com, I found out that the next time it passes (close to) the moon is soon at my location:

enter image description here

Will I be able to see it when I simply point the telescope at the moon at that time? Can you give me basic instructions what needs to be done to catch it (at that time or at any other time or place in the sky)?

  • $\begingroup$ Do you want to view it with your own eyes or take a photo or a video sequence? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 29 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ I have found it fairly easy to track the ISS with a manual dob mounted reflector. You just need a good, long pass to give yourself time to find it. Just pointing it at the moon or sun guarentees it'll pass through the field of view, but tough to tell exactly when, and it'll be very brief. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 29 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ Well worth the effort - a friend of a friend got a spectacular shot. No idea of the equipment used though. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Feb 29 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ Is the ISS in sunlight or shadow? Since one purpose of the website is to predict transits, those don't require the satellite to be illuminated. $\endgroup$
    – JohnHoltz
    Commented Mar 1 at 1:59
  • $\begingroup$ @GregMiller What is a „dob mounted reflector“? $\endgroup$
    – bitbonk
    Commented Mar 1 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


Have a look at astrophotography questions in Photography SE, for example How (the heck) did NASA photographer Joel Kowsky take this amazing photograph of the International Space Station transiting the Sun? except replace "Sun" with "Moon" (DON'T POINT YOUR TELESCOPE AT THE SUN!)

Use a good transit predicting website or program to tell you when it will happen at a location near you and go to that location at before the predicted time if the weather has a chance of being clear.

Set up, and start tracking the moon (if you can), set your exposure time so the Moon is not saturating your sensor, which can be a problem with such a fast (f/4.4?) system.

A few seconds before the predicted transit time, just start your camera taking a long sequence of images, starting a few seconds before the predicted transit and wait.


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