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Venus and Antares, Nearly Full Moon

Posted: 18 October 2013

The observatory was opened Thursday, 17 October 2013, at 1810 MST, 76°F. The sky was clear. Viewed Mercury, then Saturn, 83X, both low in the western sky, at 1816 MST. Then viewed Venus, 83X. Half-moon phase clearly visible.

Venus was shining just above the red star Antares shortly after sunset. This photo, taken with a D7000 DSLR at 1823 MST, f/5.6, 1/30sec, ISO 1250, 100mm, shows Venus (top) and Mercury (faintly visible) below Venus. The inset shows Venus and red Antares, taken at f/5.6, 1/30sec, ISO 400, 300mm.


If you can't locate faint Mercury in the photo, mouseover or tap (if using a touchscreen) the photo to see labels.

In the eastern sky, the nearly full moon had risen over the hill. I used the 300mm telephoto lens on the D7000 DSLR to take this photo, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO 100, at 1826 MST. The image was cropped (a lot) from the original full-frame photo.


At 1830 MST, I viewed the moon through the 8" LX200-ACF telescope using 83X. With about 22 hours to go before being precisely full, the moon was still very bright in the eyepiece. A slight terminator was visible. I switched to the 2" 9mm 100° eyepiece (222X) to briefly view the terminator.

While waiting for the moon to rise higher in the sky, I did some more software beta testing. That was completed at 1915 MST. I resumed lunar observing at that time.

This terminator image is a single frame from a slo-mo video recording done with the iPhone 5s handheld afocally at 222X:


At 1925 MST, I took a final look at the moon, 83X.

The observatory was closed at 1937 MST, 60°F.

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

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