More D7000 DSLR MoonLast updated: 13 June 2011
Sunday, 12 June, clear and windy (still). Sunday was a sad day. Our 13 year old Fluffy had to leave us after a long illness. Visit Fluffy's Memorial Page.
The observatory was opened at 1935 MST, 88°F. I needed a break from the day's sad event. The wind was calm and the sky mostly clear, although there were some clouds low along the western horizon. Two more Kissing Bugs had been caught in the spider traps. At 1945 MST, viewed Saturn in the 26mm (77X) eyepiece. Titan was visible. Then I went to the waxing, bright, gibbous moon. Using the 5.5mm (364X) eyepiece, I looked over the moon. Seeing was not good, hopefully just a result of the daytime atmospheric heating. Switched to the 9.7mm (206X) eyepiece for somewhat better views. There were some nice mountain shadows along the terminator. The polar regions were nice views too. I decided to wait for seeing to improve before imaging. I then noticed some high thin haziness around the moon. I switched to the 15mm eyepiece + 2X Barlow Lens (267X), which provided a little more magnification for viewing changing mountain shadows.
2015-2019 MST, watched a low but nice ISS pass. This was the first of two passes this night. The next one would be in about 90 minutes, which I planned to try to video record with the D7000 DSLR.
At 2020 MST, I began setting up for D7000 DSLR prime focus lunar imaging. I removed the star diagonal from the 8" LX200-ACF and attached a focal reducer and visual back. Then took this 1/500sec, ISO 320, photograph of the moon:
The next three images were taken along the terminator, prime focus + visual back + 3X TeleXtender, 1/250sec, ISO 1000.
I then imaged the north and south polar regions, prime focus + visual back + 3X TeleXtender, 1/250sec, ISO 1000:
There were some really fascinating mountain shadows that I wanted to image. I tried several exposures, the best being this (cropped) image taken at prime focus + visual back + 3X TeleXtender + 2X Barlow Lens (yes, both), 1 second, ISO 200:
I then returned to the polar regions, capturing these views of the north and south areas, prime focus + visual back + 3X TeleXtender + 2X Barlow Lens, 1/15sec, ISO 500:
The images are a little fuzzy at the high magnification used since the seeing never improved.
I ended imaging at 2115 MST and began setting up for the ISS pass. Switched back to the star diagonal and added the 2X Barlow Lens to image at prime focus. I entered the ISS TLE into the AutoStar. However, the ISS had done an orbit boost during the day (after the TLE data was generated) so I expected there to be some errors in tracking. Used the moon to focus the camera and locked the focus on the telescope. I did a test HD video recording using the moon. I then began waiting for the pass to begin. When the pass was supposed to begin I started the camera recording and waited for the ISS to appear. And I waited and waiting. Finally, four minutes after it was calculated to become visible, the ISS finally appeared. During the next five minutes I tried and tried to catch up with the ISS and get it stabilized in the camera FOV, but never succeeded. There were some frames in the video showing a blurred streak of the ISS as I tried to capture it. But there were no good frames.
Closed the observatory at 2210 MST, 72°F. During the night, I terminated four Kissing Bugs that had come inside the observatory.
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