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D7000 DSLR: Crescent Venus and Crescent Moon

Posted: 23 May 2012

Early Tuesday morning, 22 May, I sprayed the area near the observatory for Kissing Bugs. It took about an hour. I scared up a packrat as I was spraying his home. Kissing Bugs like to nest with packrats. Good source of blood. Hopefully, I have slowed up the early appearance of Kissing Bugs this season. I was certainly surprised to see some on the previous session in the observatory. They usually haven't appeared until June.

I opened the observatory Tuesday, 22 May 2012, at 1809 MST, 102°F. The sky was mostly clear but there was a strong breeze blowing. There was a band of clouds along the horizon, running from SW-W-NW-N-NE, and it was moving my way. At 1817 MST, I took a quick look at crescent Venus, 77X. I then slewed the telescope to the two-day-old crescent moon. I was able to see it at 77X against the still-bright sky one hour before sunset.

I returned to Venus, mounted the D7000 DSLR at prime focus of the 8" LX200-ACF, and focused using Venus. I then did some imaging of Venus. This is a stack of 732 frames from a HD video recording, 1/400sec, ISO 100, cropped:


Returned to the moon, which was just barely visible in the finderscope and took this image, 1/500sec, ISO 400:


The image above closely resembles what I could see with the eye through a 26mm (77X) eyepiece.

The clouds were getting closer to the moon by 1846 MST. At 1900 MST, I viewed the moon and Venus in the same FOV using 7x50 binoculars. The moon was not yet visible to the naked eye but Venus was visible. At 1910 MST, the moon was visible to the naked eye, 10 minutes before sunset. Three minutes before sunset, I captured this image of the moon, prime focus, 1/250sec, ISO 400:


At 1928 MST, I took this photo of the clouds, moon, and Venus, f/20, 1/25sec, ISO 500, 116mm:


Took a last look at the moon, 77X, at 1932 MST. Clouds were now in most of the sky. Decided to end this night's session.

Closed the observatory at 1940 MST, 84°F.

Comments are welcome; use the Comments section below, or you can Email Me. Thanks.

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