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Daytime Venus, Evening Venus, IC410 Nebula, Jupiter

Posted: 31 December 2013

Opened: Monday, 30 December 2013, 1318 MST
Temperature: 79°F
Session: 636
Conditions: Clear, slight breeze

Viewed Venus, 83X, at 1326 MST. Seeing was not very good but the thin crescent of Venus was visible against a nice blue sky.

I did some afocal video slo-mo (120 fps) recordings using the iPhone 5s and my homemade iPhone afocal adapter. Used 222X and 444X with a moon filter attached. Due to the bad seeing, none of the video frames were any good. Switched back to 83X (no moon filter), handheld the iPhone over the eyepiece, and did a slo-mo video. This is Venus, cropped from one frame:


Closed: Monday, 30 December 2013, 1400 MST
Temperature: 73°F

Re-Opened: Monday, 30 December 2013, 1809 MST
Temperature: 55°F
Session: 637
Conditions: Clear, calm

Before opening the observatory door, took this photograph of Venus in the western sky at 1808 MST, f/11, 1/8sec, ISO 4000, 105mm:


Then viewed Venus with the 8" LX200-ACF, 83X and 222X. Seeing was not very good, with lots of color showing on Venus due to its low altitude in the sky. At 1820 MST, I began doing some afocal photography using the D7000 DSLR handheld over the 2" 9mm 100° eyepiece (222X). Got this image with f/4, 1/320sec, ISO 2000, 26mm exposure:


At 1826 MST, I began preparations to re-image IC410 (diffuse nebula). I had imaged it on previous occasions but I wanted to try for a better image this night. Added the focal reducer and mounted the D7000 using the off-axis guider. Did a focus test image on the star Capella using a Bahtinov Mask. I slewed to IC410 and did two framing test exposures, 2 minutes, unguided, ISO 6400, while searching for a good guide star. I wanted to get the nebula as close as possible to the center of the field-of-view to avoid the nebula being impacted by vignetting resulting from the focal reducer. My 2nd test exposure seemed to have good framing with a good guide star. I then did six 5 minute, guided, ISO 6400, exposures. The images were edited in Aperture and then stacked using Lynkeos, yielding this image (effective exposure 30 minutes):


I completed imaging of IC410 at 1931 MST. Removed the D7000 and focal reducer. Viewed Jupiter, low in the east, 83X. Three moons and the Great Red Spot were visible. Seeing was fairly good. I then did some iPhone 5s afocal slo-mo video recordings of Jupiter, 444X, with and without a moon filter, using my homemade iPhone afocal adapter. This is a stack of 1120 frames from a video taken with the moon filter using Keith's Image Stacker:


Not a great image but it does show cloud bands and the Great Red Spot.

I resumed Jupiter observing at 2009 MST, 444X, 166X, and 83X. The views were good. But breezes had started blowing, so I began closing up.

Closed: Monday, 30 December 2013, 2020 MST
Temperature: 48°F

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