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Critter; iPhone Moon Imaging;
Moon on POD Dome

Posted: 20 November 2015

Wednesday, 18 November 2015, dawned mostly clear with some cirrus clouds. As sunset approached the sky was mostly overcast. However, the poor sky conditions were offset by my receiving a "Dark Sky Defender 2015" award from the International Dark-Sky Association.

Thursday, 19 November, dawned clear but windy. The sky stayed clear and the wind subsided by sunset.

As I headed out to the observatory I saw this shape in a tree by the pathway:


Using the camera flash I got this photo of the owl:


Open: Thursday, 19 November 2015, 1815 MST
Temperature: 62°F
Session: 883
Conditions: Clear, calm

1824 MST: viewed the Moon, 83X. Then set up for imaging the Moon using the iPhone 6s Plus. Mounted it on the 8" LX200-ACF using the Orion SteadyPix adapter. Used the iOS Camera app for these Moon images. This is the Moon, afocal 77X:


These are views along the terminator, afocal 154X:




I tried some slo-mo (240 frames per second) video recordings but poor seeing did not allow useful stacking of the frames. However, this frame from one of the videos shows the Straight Wall, 154X:


1843 MST: I removed the camera and SteadyPix and did some lunar observing, 166X. The crater Moretus near the south pole was a fascinating view with its central peak and terraced crater walls. Viewed it at 222X and 444X, but the seeing was not good enough for a good view at 444X. I added a 2X Barlow Lens to the 2X PowerMate with the 26mm eyepiece and mounted the iPhone using the SteadyPix for this 308X image (cropped from full-frame) of the crater Moretus:


1907 MST: resumed lunar observing, 222X. Some great views at times.

1930 MST: I decided I should TRAIN DRIVES for the LX200-ACF AutoStar. I had last done it in August 2009, shortly after the telescope was installed in the observatory. However, this night I could not locate a usable distant light source for the training. Will have to do it in the daytime using some distant object.

1935 MST: slewed the telescope back to the Moon. I noticed that the Moon's image was nicely visible projected onto the observatory dome. I placed the D7200 DSLR on the POD Roller Desk and took this photo, f/3.5, 20 seconds, ISO 1600, FL 18mm:


Close: Thursday, 19 November 2015, 1953 MST
Temperature: 54°F
Session Length: 1h 38m
Conditions: Clear

Check out the video about Kitt Peak National Observatory and one of the guys who works there in this article by Rob Sparks of NOAO.

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