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Observatory Cleanup;
600mm Lens: Crescent Moon, Earthshine

Posted: 12 February 2016

I went out to the observatory at 0738 MST on Thursday, 11 February 2016, to begin a major cleanup of the observatory. I usually did these cleanups annually on 18 August on the observatory "First Light" anniversary. However, for various reasons I didn't do the cleanups for the past two years, so cleaning was overdue. As I wanted to start using the new telescope in a clean observatory I needed to do the cleanup. First, I vacuumed the patio and the observatory floor. I then began moving items outside. While I was doing that I saw a large bobcat walk past. Here is everything on the patio:


Next, I vacuumed dirt and spider webs from the dome wheel wells and the bays. Saw a large black spider in one bay. I then washed off the bay floors. Once that was done I moved everything back inside the observatory and closed up the observatory. Unlike when I was doing the cleanups in August, when it would take all day with frequent rest stops due to the heat, doing the cleanup in February only took a little over four hours. I was finished by Noon. It was much more comfortable than in August. I think I will stick with doing cleanups in February!

The CFO (wife; who approved the observatory upgrades) and I then unloaded the 12" LX600 telescope box and X-Wedge box from the SUV that I used to pick them at OPT on Tuesday, 9 February. Whew, that was a task due to the telescope box size and weight. Now just need the LX600 tripod to arrive.

At 1900 MST I took the D7200 DSLR outside to photograph the crescent Moon using the Tamron 150-600mm lens on the Barska Professional photographic tripod that I purchased at OPT on Tuesday. This photo is f/8, 1/160sec, ISO 640, FL 600mm:

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To capture the Earthshine I used f/8, 1/5sec, ISO 1600, FL 600mm:

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Both photos were cropped from the full-frame image.

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