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Short Session; Waxing Gibbous Moon

Posted: 12 December 2013

Sunday, 8 December 2013, dawned with an overcast sky. Cloudy skies continued until Wednesday, 11 December 2013. Lost some nice ISS imaging opportunities due to clouds. Even missed seeing (and possibly hearing) a nice bolide that was visible over southern Arizona on Tuesday evening, 10 December. Apparently, there are possible meteorites on the ground near Tucson. The observatory was opened Wednesday, 11 December, at 1807 MST, 58°F. The sky was mostly clear, with some clouds low in the south and southwest. There was a breeze blowing.

At 1813 MST, I slewed the 8" LX200-ACF to Venus, low in the southwestern sky (but not near any visible clouds). Seeing was so bad that I could not find a good focus using 83X. Slewed to the star Fomalhaut, which was high in the southern sky, to try focusing on it. That was somewhat better. Slewed back to Venus. Focus was better and the thin crescent was viewed. However, due to the very poor seeing I did not attempt any photography of the planet.

At 1819 MST, viewed the waxing gibbous moon, 83X, very high in the sky. The view was also hampered by poor seeing. I decided to not try any high magnification imaging of lunar features. I mounted the D7000 DSLR at prime focus of the 8". The entire moon was not visible in the camera field-of-view (FOV). I removed the camera, added a f/6.3 focal reducer, and re-attached the camera. The focal reducer allowed the entire lunar disk to easily fit in the FOV. I did several images using various various shutter speeds at ISO 100. This is a cropped, 1/250sec, ISO 100, image:


After completing the imaging I noticed that the clouds that had been low in the south were now higher in the sky. Resumed lunar observing, 83X, at 1837 MST. Seeing was no better. And with clouds becoming more a concern, I decided to end the session.

The observatory was closed at 1846 MST, 56°F. A short session of only 39 minutes.

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