Cassiopeia Observatory logo

Imaging: M44, M45 and Comet Lovejoy, Jupiter

Posted: 23 January 2015

Opening the observatory was delayed due to attending a meeting of the Oracle Dark Skies Committee.

Open: Thursday, 22 January 2015, 2044 MST
Temperature: 43°F
Session: 772
Conditions: Clear, breezy

2055 MST, after swapping rechargeable batteries for the Wireless AutoStar II, I spotted Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) with the naked eye, still near M45 (Pleiades). Confirmed with the 12x70 binoculars.

2100 MST: slewed to M44 (Praesepe open star cluster) and began preparing to image it. Mounted the D7000 DSLR piggyback on the 8" LX200-ACF. Did a focus test on the star Procyon using the Gerd Neumann Bahtinov Mask. Went back to M44 and began imaging. This is a slightly cropped image, f/5.6, 1 minute, ISO 1600, FL 92mm:


2133 MST: slewed to Comet Lovejoy using the naked eye and finderscope. Began imaging the comet. This slightly cropped image shows the long ion tail and was taken using f/5.6, 5 minutes, ISO 5000, FL 92mm:


Repositioned the camera FOV to get the Pleiades as well as the comet. This slightly cropped image, f/5.6, 5 minutes, ISO 5000, FL 34mm, shows the Pleiades at the bottom and Comet Lovejoy at the upper right. The California Nebula was faintly captured in the upper left.


2222 MST: ended D7000 DSLR imaging. Slewed to Jupiter and viewed it at 83X. The four Galilean Moons were visible. Set up for iPhone afocal imaging using the MX-1 Afocal Adapter. This cropped image, afocal 222X, shows the four moons (Jupiter is overexposed):


I did some video recordings using slo-mo (120 fps on the iPhone 5s). This is a 10 second recording (1162 frames), afocal 222X, stacked using Keith's Image Stacker:


This is 10 seconds (1167 frames), afocal 444X, also stacked:


Unfortunately, a dust spot got into the last image.

I will use 444X for Friday night's triple Jovian Moon transit, if I get a chance to be in the observatory.

2249 MST: finished imaging. Took a final look at Jupiter, 83X.

Close: Thursday, 22 January 2015, 2301 MST
Temperature: 37°F

Comments are welcome using Email. If you are on Twitter you can use the button below to tweet this report to your followers. Thanks.

Previous report

Cassiopeia Observatory Home Page

Back to Top

Copyright ©2015 Michael L. Weasner /