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Daytime Venus, Nighttime Venus, Visitors, Moon

Posted: 7 December 2013

After the cloud-shortened session on the previous night, Friday, 6 December 2013, dawned clear. At 1510 MST, I stepped outside and tried to see Venus near the crescent moon with my naked eyes. Venus was easily seen. Took this photo showing both objects with the D7000 DSLR, f/7.1, 1/200sec, ISO 100, 70mm:

Venus is in lower right corner; mouseover (or tap) on the image to see labels

The observatory was opened at 1804 MST, 47°F. The sky was clear. A neighbor would be bringing some visiting relatives to the observatory. Before they arrived, I viewed Venus, showing a nice crescent phase (very similar to the moon's crescent phase this night), 83X, 444X and 222X. The view was best at 222X.

I did some quick handheld afocal photography of Venus at 222X using the D7000 DSLR, f/5.6, 1/100sec, 105mm, ISO 400:


Visitors arrived at 1817 MST. They got to look through the 8" LX200-ACF telescope and viewed Venus, the moon, the double star Albireo, M31 (Andromeda Galaxy), the Double Cluster (open star clusters), M1 (Crab Nebula), and M57 (Ring Nebula). They also got to see a short pass of the International Space Station (ISS) in the southern sky. They left at 1924 MST.

My iPod Classic shutoff again this night due to the low temperature in the observatory. The neighbor to the northeast had his "light nuisance" floodlight on for awhile, creating light pollution, but later turned it off.

At 1936 MST, I began imaging the moon at prime focus of the 8" telescope using the D7000 DSLR. This is a 1/250sec, ISO 400, exposure:


I then added the Tele Vue 2" 2X PowerMate and took these photos of the lunar terminator, 1/250sec, ISO 1600:




I ended imaging at 1943 MST and did a tour of the lunar terminator, 222X. The moon was getting low in the sky so the seeing was not ideal. However, there were some nice sights visible. I took a last look at the moon, 83X. Earthshine was nicely visible.

At 1950 MST, slewed the telescope to IC348 (diffuse nebula). I had imaged it on the previous session but was thinking I might do another set of images this night. Unfortunately, no nebulosity was visible at 83X due to the bright moon light. At 2010 MST, I decided to close up for the night (temperature was dropping).

The observatory was closed at 2020 MST, 34°F.

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