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DSO and Sky Imaging with iPhone 6s Plus and NightCap Pro

Posted: 7 November 2015

Open: Friday, 6 November 2015, 1814 MST
Temperature: 62°F
Session: 876
Conditions: Clear

1826 MST: viewed Saturn, low in the southwestern sky and behind a tree, 83X. No details seen. Probably my last look at Saturn for awhile.

Next, redid the AutoStar One Star alignment. GOTOs M57 (Ring Nebula), M56 (globular cluster), and M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) were good.

Slewed to M15 (globular cluster) and viewed it at 83X. Then mounted the iPhone 6s Plus on the 8" LX200-ACF using the Orion SteadyPix for afocal imaging at 77X. This image was taken using NightCap Pro (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 8000, 1/3sec, 1 minute exposure):


This image is not as good as what the iPhone 5s could have done with its longer maximum shutter speed (1/2sec).

However, this image of the colorful double star Albireo turned out pretty good using NightCap Pro (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 2000, 1/3sec, 5 seconds exposure):


This is what a live view of Albireo looked like on my Apple Watch:


I then set up the iPhone 6s Plus on a photographic tripod on the observatory patio. Used the SteadyPix to mount the iPhone on the tripod and the Earbuds/Mic volume control as a remote shutter release.



This NightCap Pro image (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 4000, 1/3sec, 15 seconds) shows the constellation of Perseus and the Pleiades:


I used NightCap Pro (Light Trails, Light Boost, ISO 8000, 1/3sec, 30 minutes) for this star trails image of the northern sky. Several airplanes crossed the sky during the exposure. The observatory dome is silhouetted at the lower left.


Close: Friday, 6 November 2015, 2026 MST
Temperature: 49°F
Session Length: 2h 12m
Conditions: Clear

This was a planned short session as I will be appearing at the Grand Opening of the "Mt Lemmon SkyCenter Astrophotography Exhibit" at Oracle State Park, Saturday, 7 November. I will be introducing the Exhibit, noon-2pm. Adam Block of the University of Arizona's Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter has provided several of his outstanding astrophotos for the Exhibit. He is recognized around the world as a leading astrophotographer. The images he produces as part of public outreach programs are published in magazines, books, posters and widely on the Internet. He was the 2012 recipient of the Hubble Award among several notable highlights to his career. The Exhibit will run from 7 November to 20 December. On Sunday, December 20, Adam Block will offer a presentation and film at the park for the public, 3-4pm.

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