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Hubble Space Telescope Moon Transit Imaging Attempt

Posted: 26 September 2015

Open: Friday, 25 September 2015, 1800 MST
Temperature: 91°F
Session: 861
Conditions: Mostly clear

After opening the observatory for this planned short session I synced the observatory clock to WWV. 1807 MST: viewed the Moon, 83X, through a tree to the southeast of the observatory. The tree and the Moon's low altitude would create some difficulties for my attempt to image the transit of the Moon by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This was the view from the observatory a few minutes before the transit; the Moon is at the center of the photo:


This was how the Moon appeared at prime focus of the 8" LX200-ACF with the D7200 DSLR, 1/250sec, ISO 1600, about 10 minutes before the transit:


CalSky had this prediction for the HST-Moon transit:


About a minute before the start of the transit I started the HD video recording, 1.3X crop factor, 60 fps, 1/1000sec, ISO 1600. I continued the recording for about 30 seconds after the transit. The transit duration was 2.04 seconds. Unfortunately, no HST was visible in the video. This video frame shows the view that was captured at the time of the transit:


The combination of small size of the HST, the low altitude of the Moon, and the tree all combined to prevent imaging of the HST as it crossed the Moon. I have captured the HST during previous transits the Moon. You can see those images on my Satellite Astrophotography gallery.

I removed the DSLR from the telescope and took this handheld iPhone 5s afocal photo, 83X, of the Moon:


I then took a quick look at Saturn, 83X.

Due to a day-long event on Saturday, I ended this session.

Close: Friday, 25 September 2015, 1850 MST
Temperature: 80°F
Session Length: 0h 50m
Conditions: Clear

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