ISS Travels Through The Big Dipper, and By The North Star

ISS Travels Through The Big Dipper, and By The North Star

July 13th, 2022, 10:30 p.m. local time

The Summer of tracking the International Space Station continued tonight, this time with a direct fly-through of The Big Dipper, and an extremely close encounter with The North Star, Polaris.

And I changed up my equipment setup a little from the prior nights, and I am pleased with the results.  Tonight’s image was taken with my Canon DSLR camera and Sigma wide lens.  I set up the camera in manual “bulb” mode, using the Canon app on my iPhone to control the shutter, keeping it open for long exposures.

I spent about 10 minutes before the ISS flyover fiddling with the ISO and focal settings, trying to get the best settings I could for an approximate two-minute exposure.  The final camera settings I used for this photograph are below.  The ISS took about 100 seconds to fly through the area I captured.

If you compare this Northwest image to that of last night’s, you will see my ornamental pear tree again, but this time I aimed the camera higher, since the ISS was traveling “higher” from my vantage here on Earth.

I like this DSLR/Sigma lens setup for the ISS, and plan to tweak the camera settings during future sessions.

Equipment Used:

  • Canon EOS Rebel SL3 on tripod
  • Sigma wide field lens, 17mm focal length
  • f/5
  • 102 sec exposure
  • ISO 100
  • Minor touchups in PaintShop Pro and AfterShot Pro


I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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