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Smokey Sunset, Critter, More Revolution Imager work,
iPhone NightCap Pro DSOs

Posted: 5 June 2016

Saturday, 4 June 2016, the sky here continued to be very smokey from the Juniper Fire in the Tonto National Forest northeast of Phoenix. I debated about whether to open the observatory but decided I could do some more work with the Revolution Imager.

Open: Saturday, 4 June 2016, 1838 MST
Temperature: 104°F
Session: 978
Conditions: Clear, smokey, breezy

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
Wireless AutoStar II handset
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 26mm eyepiece

Revolution Imager
iPhone 6s Plus

I had two main goals for this session:

1. document Revolution Imager camera settings for planets and Deep Sky Objects (DSOs).

2. do some DSO imaging with the iPhone 6s Plus using the iOS app NightCap Pro.

I hope to complete the Revolution Imager review this coming week.

1910 MST: left the observatory to watch the sunset. 1914 MST: this is a panorama photo taken with the iPhone 6s Plus and shows the smokey western sky 17 minutes before sunset. It goes from the southwest (left) to the north (right).

Click or tap on image for larger version

The observatory is visible at the left.

Another photo of the smoke-reddened Sun:


While I was watching the sunset I saw this 2" long scorpion on the driveway:


1931 MST: sunset. The breezes had calmed down now.

1941 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF. Viewed Jupiter, 102X. Four moons visible.

1952 MST: began working with the Revolution Imager. 2002 MST: terminated the first of 11 Kissing Bugs seen this night. 2205 MST: completed the Revolution Imager work for this night.

2216 MST: viewed M57 (Ring Nebula), 102X. Then mounted the iPhone 6s Plus on the 12" LX600 telescope for afocal imaging with the 1.25" 26mm eyepiece (94X) using the Orion SteadyPix Universal Smartphone Telescope Photo Mount. I used the Earbuds/Mic cord volume control as a remote shutter release.

These NightCap Pro images were taken with these settings: Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 8000, 1/3sec, 1 minute exposure length.

M57 (Ring Nebula)

M56 (small globular cluster)

M20 (Trifid Nebula)

The M20 image is a little "noisy" but a lot of image processing was necessary to bring out the faint nebula.

2305 MST: ended DSO imaging. Viewed M20 (Trifid Nebula), 102X. It was still low in the southeastern sky. It was really too low for good imaging. I will re-do the image when M20 is higher in the sky.

Then viewed Saturn and Mars, 102X.

2318 MST: as I began closing up the observatory I terminated the last of the 11 Kissing Bugs seen this night.

Close: Saturday, 4 June 2016, 2328 MST
Temperature: 81°F
Session Length: 4h 50m
Conditions: Clear, smokey

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