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Lunar Mare Humorum and Crater Gassendi,
Software Tests, Nightscope Images

Posted: 16 September 2013

Cloudy skies that ended the previous session early continued on Friday, 13 September 2013. Saturday started out partly cloudy, but the cloud cover increased during the day. Sunday, 15 September, started out mostly clear, but once again, the cloud cover increased during the day. However, by the time Sunday Night Football was over, the sky was mostly clear, so I opened the observatory at 2153 MST, 80°F. Viewed the waxing gibbous moon, 83X and 222X. The crater Gassendi looked especially nice. Set up for imaging with the D7000 DSLR at 8" LX200-ACF prime focus + 3X TeleXtender. Took several still photographs and HD video recordings. This is a single frame from a HD video, 1/200sec, ISO 2000, showing Mare Humorum and Crater Gassendi:


Completed lunar imaging at 2226 MST and began some software beta testing. I'll report on the application once it is released. Ended testing at 2321 MST. During the tests I viewed the moon, Uranus, Neptune, and Fomalhaut, 222X.

Next, I did some terrestrial and astronomical viewing with my Night Owl Optics 2X nightscope. I last used the nightscope for astronomical use in 2010. Also, in 2010, I did some iPhone astrophotography through the nightscope as seen here. This night I took this photo, illuminated by moon light and not the IR illuminator, using the iPhone 4 (handheld):


The photo shows some tree limbs and cactus plants. No animals this night.

Also viewed M45 (the Pleiades), M31 (Great Andromeda Galaxy), and the Double Cluster using the nightscope. Since the sky was so bright due to the moon, the view of M31 was disappointing, but the Pleiades looked very good in the nightscope. I took this handheld iPhone photo of the Pleiades in the nightscope:


By 2345 MST, the clouds were increasing overhead and to the north and south. Frequent lightning flashes were seen from a distant monsoon storm to the east. I began closing for the night.

The observatory was closed at 2357 MST, 78°F.

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

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