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Jupiter-Moon Conjunction, Fisheye Sky and Observatory

Posted: 15 January 2014

Opened: Tuesday, 14 January 2014, 1809 MST
Temperature: 60°F
Session: 645
Conditions: Clear, some breezes

At 1815 MST, viewed Jupiter with the 8" LX200-ACF telescope, 83X, low in the eastern sky. Three moons were visible. I then began setting up to photograph the Jupiter-Moon conjunction with the D7000 DSLR on a photographic tripod. This image is a combination of two f/8, ISO 400, 210mm images, one at 1/640sec to show the moon and the other at 1/2sec to show Jupiter:

Mouseover or tap the image above to see a magnified inset showing Jupiter's moons

At 1830 MST, I returned to the telescope and viewed the moon using 83X. A slight terminator was visible (moon 21 hours before Full). I switched from the 70-300mm lens on the D7000 DSLR to the 8mm 180° fisheye lens and did some sky photography. When not photographing the sky, I monitored Jupiter using 83X as it rose higher in the east.

This f/16, 30sec, ISO 1600, 8mm fisheye lens photo was taken at 1902 MST and shows the SkyShed POD observatory, the bright moon, Jupiter (just left of the moon), the constellations of Auriga (top), Gemini (where Jupiter is), and Orion (above the tree on the right):

Click or tap on the photo above to see a larger version (1.5 MB)

I resumed Jupiter observing at 1910 MST, 222X. Seeing was not very good. Occasional wind gusts also created some telescope movement, causing Jupiter to jump around in the eyepiece. At 1919 MST, did a tour of the moon, 222X. Although seeing was not very good, there were some interesting sights along the terminator. Switched to the 2" 24mm UWA eyepiece (83X) and viewed the very bright nearly full moon. I don't have a 2" moon filter so the view was almost painful.

At 1935 MST, took this handheld iPhone 5s afocal 83X photo of the moon (slightly cropped):


Slewed the 8" telescope back to Jupiter and checked the seeing using 83X. Still not very good even with Jupiter now better positioned in the sky. And the forecast for the rest of the night was for poor seeing. Breezes were also continuing. So there was no point in doing Jupiter video recording tests this night. Began closing the observatory.

Closed: Tuesday, 14 January 2014, 1951 MST
Temperature: 54°F

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