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Jupiter Moons, Mars, Total Lunar Eclipse Preparations

Posted: 14 April 2014

Opened: Sunday, 13 April 2014, 2112 MST
Temperature: 67°F
Session: 673
Conditions: Clear but very breezy

2120 MST: viewed Jupiter, 83X and 222X. Seeing not very good. The four Galilean Moons were visible. Grabbed this handheld iPhone 5s afocal image (222X) showing the four moons (Jupiter overexposed) at 2124 MST:


This screen shot from the iOS app "Pocket Universe" shows the name of the moons:


The moon Io was about to begin a transit of Jupiter (at 2146 MST). I decided to watch it start. 2143 MST: seeing was very bad now. The transit began on time (I think; hard to be certain due to the poor seeing). Io continued to be visible (due to limb darkening) as a star-like bright point just north of the northern edge of the South Equatorial Belt. 2155 MST: Io now difficult to see against the bright planet. 2157 MST: Io no longer visible using 222X. Ended Jupiter observing.

Began observing Mars, 222X. Seeing was a little better at Mars. Added one of the Variable Polarizing Filters. The North Polar Cap was a very bright white this night. Decided to try imaging of Mars. Used my homemade afocal adapter and the earbuds mic as a remote shutter release. These are stacks from afocal slo-mo (120 fps) videos, 666X + filter:

5 seconds, 519 frames

10 seconds, 1125 frames

15 seconds, 1721 frames

20 seconds, 2316 frames

2215 MST: began doing some preparations for Monday night's Total Lunar Eclipse. 2218 MST: viewed the moon, 83X + filter. A slight terminator was visible.

This is a composite D7000 DSLR photograph (cropped) taken at 2223 MST, f/4.8, 1/100sec (Mars, lower left corner) and 1/500 (Moon, right), ISO 100, 145mm:


The moon, iPhone 5s afocal 77X, at 2232 MST:


I verified that I will be able to image the entire lunar disk during the eclipse using 77X with the iPhone.

2237 MST: did some lunar limb observing, 222X. The southern limb showed some nice high mountains. This handheld iPhone 5s afocal 222X image (slightly cropped) shows the crater Tycho and the southern limb:


2248 MST: last look at the moon, 83X + filter. Then removed the filter and viewed Saturn, low in the southeast, 83X. The moons Titan and Rhea were visible. Due to the low altitude of Saturn, no other moons were seen.

Strong breezes were still blowing so began closing up for the night.

Closed: Sunday, 13 April 2014, 2302 MST
Temperature: 61°F

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