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iPhone 6s Plus imaging: Moon, Crater Aristarchus & Vallis Schröten

Posted: 21 March 2016

Saturday evening, 19 March 2016, I and the Oracle Dark Skies Committee supported a star party at Oracle State Park for volunteers of the Arizona Trail Association. The Park's Explore Scientific 152mm refractor was used, seen here aimed at the Moon shortly after set up:


The sky was clear during the early evening and good views of the waxing gibbous Moon, M42 (Orion Nebula), and Jupiter and its four Galilean Moons were enjoyed by the volunteers. Clouds began coming in around 2030 MST and the star party ended about 2130 MST.

Sunday, 20 March, began cloudy, but cleared up mid-day. More clouds were visible in the western sky as sunset approached. I decided to get in some observing.

Open: Sunday, 20 March 2016, 1806 MST
Temperature: 91°F
Session: 938
Conditions: Mostly clear, but clouds low SW-NW-NE

1815 MST: StarLock OFF. Viewed the waxing gibbous Moon, 102X, using the star diagonal. Then removed the diagonal and viewed the Moon, 102X, using the visual back. Switched to a 2" 30mm eyepiece (81X) to do some iPhone 6s Plus imaging.

1822 MST: took this handheld iPhone image (slightly cropped) with the Moon against a bright blue sky (before sunset):

Mouseover or tap on image
Mouseover or tap on image

1835 MST: sunset. Did some lunar observing, 81X. Clouds were now in western half of sky.

1908 MST: took another image of the Moon with the iPhone handheld over the 30mm eyepiece. Mouseover (or tap) the image above to see that image.

The area north of crater Aristarchus, including Vallis Schröten, looked rather cool this night. Switched to a 9mm (271X) eyepiece with the Orion SteadyPix Universal Smartphone Telescope Photo Mount. Did a slo-mo (240 fps) video recording using the iPhone 6s Plus. Seeing was not very good. This is a stack of 2501 video frames showing crater Aristarchus and Vallis Schröten:


1927 MST: did some more lunar observing, 102X. Then went to Jupiter, low in the east. Four moons were visible. Tried to use 271X but seeing was not good enough for that much magnification. And with the clouds increasing I began closing up for the night.

Close: Sunday, 20 March 2016, 1949 MST
Temperature: 71°F
Session Length: 1h 43m
Conditions: Partly cloudy

A local newspaper covered the "Celebrate Connections to Nature" at Oracle State Park on 5 March 2016. Check it out.

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