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iPhone Orion Nebula using NightCap Pro

Posted: 17 February 2015

As expected, Saturday and Sunday, 14-15 February 2015, were cloudy. The sky was finally partly cloudy on Monday, 16 February. Wasn't great for viewing but I decided it was good enough to do some stuff in the observatory.

Open: Monday, 16 February 2015, 1814 MST
Temperature: 67°F
Session: 783
Conditions: Partly cloudy, breezy

When I was approaching the observatory I could hear a beeping sound coming from inside the observatory. It was from the observatory clock, even though no alarm had been set. The clock was locked up but beeping. Unplugged it and removed the backup battery. Powered it back on and inserted the backup battery. No beeping. Synced the clock to WWV. Not certain what caused the lockup and beeping.

1826 MST: viewed Venus and Mars, 83X. Then began doing some work for an upcoming product review. 1903 MST: ended new product work.

I had planned to do some more Zodiacal Light photography this night using NightCap Pro on the iPhone 5s. Unfortunately, there were clouds in the western sky hampering the view. Deferred that until a future session. Since Orion was currently in a clear spot I decided to do some iPhone imaging of M42 (Great Orion Nebula). 1910 MST: slewed the 8" LX200-ACF to M42 and mounted the iPhone 5s using the modified MX-1 Afocal Adapter with a 26mm (77X) eyepiece. NightCap Pro was used to image M42. I wanted to compare Long Exposure and Light Trails modes. Both images below were 5 minutes long, ISO 2000, 1/2sec exposure, with Light Boost enabled.

Long Exposure

Light Trails

Depending on what you want to capture, one mode may be better than the other. Light Trails shows faint satellites (and airplanes), whereas Long Exposure will provide less color noise. The Light Trails image above shows two faint satellites crossing horizontally.

1946 MST: ended M42 imaging. Clouds were now approaching Orion.

1956 MST: viewed Jupiter, 206X and 83X. Three moons were visible.

2004 MST: decided to end the session due to clouds.

Close: Monday, 16 February 2015, 2014 MST
Temperature: 54°F

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