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iPhone Moon on a Cloud Shortened Night
Posted: 2 November 2011

The observatory was opened at 1730 MST, 81°F. The sky was mostly clear, with just a band of clouds low along the horizon, from the west, through the north, to the northeast. I worried about the direction of movement as I had planned a long night of DSO imaging after the moon set about 2330 MST.

1734 MST: viewed Mercury, then Venus, at 77X and 133X. Both planets showed a slight gibbous phase. Then I went to the moon. Switched to the visual back and did some iPhone imaging. This is 77X afocal:


And 231X afocal:


Switched back to the diagonal and began lunar observing at 77X, 133X, 206X, and 364X. The views were excellent, especially at 206X and 364X. The shadows along the terminator were very impressive and there were a lot of details visible inside craters. I decided to watch sunrise at the crater Clairaut, which had a double mountain peak on the crater wall sticking up into the sun light, with most of the rest of the crater currently in darkness.

1900 MST: the clouds in the northwest were now higher in the sky. I continued to watch sunrise at Clairaut. And would occasionally view other areas of the moon at 364X. The central peaks in the crater Theophilus (seen at the bottom in the photo above) were really awesome. 1925 MST: seeing at the moon was beginning to worsen as the clouds approached. The clouds were now nearly to the Milky Way, high overhead. The clouds extended from the southwest to the northeast.

1930 MST: ended moon observing and went to Jupiter, low in the eastern sky. Viewed at 77X; 4 moons visible, two on either side of the planet. Tried using 206X + moon filter to observe Jupiter but the seeing was very bad.

1940 MST: went to M33 (Pinwheel Galaxy), which was to have been an imaging target for later in the night. It was faintly visible at 77X against a moonlit sky. The cloud cover was obviously going to continue to worsen, so I began closing up.

Closed the observatory at 1950 MST, 64°F.


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