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iPhone 5s Imaging: Mars, Lunar Crater Clavius

Posted: 7 June 2014

Opened: Friday, 6 June 2014, 1822 MST
Temperature: 105°F
Session: 693
Conditions: Clear, Breezy

1835 MST: Tried for Mercury in the 8" telescope using 83X, but it wasn't visible in the eyepiece. Slewed to Jupiter to check focus, then back to Mercury. Not visible. 1855 MST: Mercury (thin crescent phase) was now just barely visible against a bright sky, 83X. 1910 MST: Mercury still difficult to see in the eyepiece. While trying to improve the focus I lost sight of Mercury and couldn't get it back. Slewed to Jupiter again and refocused. 1915 MST: Mercury was now fairly easy to see using 83X (now that it was back in focus!). Unfortunately, Mercury was now getting lower in the sky and approaching a tree to the west of the observatory. Switched to a 222X eyepiece (nearly parfocal with the 83X eyepiece), which provided a reasonably good view of the crescent phase.

1923 MST: viewed Jupiter, 222X. Two moons were visible. 1930 MST: a third moon now became visible. 1932 MST: sunset.

1934 MST: slewed to Mars; the view was very good at 222X. The very small North Polar Cap and Syrtis Major were visible. I mounted the iPhone 5s on the telescope for afocal imaging at 666X. I did slo-mo video recordings with and without one of the Variable Polarizing Filter pieces. In the past a filter was required to avoid overexposing the camera. As Mars is now fading, this night no filter was required. Recording lengths were 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 seconds. The 1 second recordings were the best (less time for atmospheric distortion) as seen in this stack of 124 frames:


1950 MST: completed Mars imaging. Did some Mars observing at 222X and 444X. The view was really nice at 444X.

2002 MST: viewed the moon, 83X. Grabbed this handheld iPhone 5s afocal photo:


Then did some lunar observing at 222X and 444X. The crater Clavius was great. Took this handheld iPhone 5s afocal 444X photo (cropped):


2023 MST: saw the first (and only) Kissing Bug of the night on the dome:


The bug was too high to easily reach, so I just monitored it.

1925 MST: viewed Saturn, 222X. Four moons were visible. 2030 MST: took a last look at Saturn, 83X.

Due to a planned long day of errands the next day, began closing up the observatory. The Kissing Bug had not moved (guess he was monitoring me). I had to jump up to reach him; terminated.

Closed: Friday, 6 June 2014, 2040 MST
Temperature: 80°F

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