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iPhone Jupiter, D7000 Moon

Posted: 3 November 2012

Opened the observatory Friday, 2 November 2012, at 2257 MST, 62°F. Jupiter and the waning gibbous moon were well up in the sky. At 2303 MST, viewed Jupiter, 77X. Three moons and the Great Red Spot (GRS) were visible. Seeing was very good. At 206X and 364X, there were a lot of details visible inside and surrounding the GRS. At 2311 MST, I set up for iPhone 4 afocal imaging on the 8" LX200-ACF. The iPhone was attached to the eyepiece using the Magnilux MX-1 adapter. I used a 9mm eyepiece + moon filter + 2X Barlow Lens, yielding a magnification of 444X.

This is a still photograph taken with the iOS 6 Camera app, cropped. The moon Io is faintly visible at the left. The GRS is visible.


I then did some 60 second video recordings of Jupiter, 444X, moon filter. I used the best video and stacked its 1458 frames with Keith's Image Stacker to yield this image of Jupiter, one of my best:


The Great Red Spot is easily seen, and its "little brother" (to the left of the GRS) was also imaged.

At 2331 MST, I resumed lunar observing, 77X. I toured the moon at 364X. There were great views along the terminator and there were several nice peaks showing along the limb. I switched to the visual back for imaging with the D7000 DSLR at prime focus. This image is a 1/400sec, ISO 400, exposure:


I added the 2X Barlow Lens and captured this (cropped) image, 1/320sec, ISO 1600, showing some of the peaks visible along the lunar limb:


Next, I did imaging along the terminator, prime focus + 2X Barlow Lens. These are 1/320sec, ISO 2500, exposures:




While imaging the moon this night, a major milestone in my photography was reached. I received the Nikon D7000 DSLR in October 2010. On 2 November 2012, the file name counter rolled over from 9999 to 1, meaning that I had taken 10,000 photos (and some videos) with the D7000 in a little more than 2 years. This is the first time that I've reached that milestone with a digital camera. I had a Nikon D70 DSLR for over five years but never reached 10,000 photos with it. Before the D70, I used other digital cameras for several years each, but never reached 10,000 photos.

At 0023 MST, I resumed lunar observing. Since the seeing at the moon was now excellent, I decided to push the magnification beyond the theoretical maximum of 400X for an 8" telescope. I used a 5.5mm eyepiece + 2X Barlow Lens, yielding 727X. The views along the terminator were impressive, with a lot of fine details visible. I then pushed the magnification even further; 5.5mm eyepiece + 3X TeleXtender, yielding 1091X. Wow! Incredibly detailed sights were visible along the terminator. I did some final lunar observing at 206X.

I then slewed to Jupiter and viewed it at 206X. Four moons were now visible. The Great Red Spot had crossed the central meridian. Some amazing details were still visible in and around the GRS.

Closed the observatory at 0048 MST, 61°F.

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