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ETX-90RA Observing and iPhone Moon Imaging

Posted: 18 June 2016

Open: Friday, 17 June 2016, 1858 MST
Temperature: 95°F
Session: 986
Conditions: Clear

Equipment Used:
1.25" 26mm eyepiece
1.25" 3X TeleXtender

iPhone 6s Plus

I decided to use my 20 year old Meade ETX-90RA telescope for this session. I set it up on the observatory patio:


Click or tap on the image above for a larger version where you can see some details on the Moon.

1914 MST: ETX clock drive ON. No star alignment needed with this telescope as there is no GOTO computer on the ETX-90RA. Pointed the ETX-90RA at the waxing gibbous Moon. Lovely view at 48X.

Mounted the iPhone 6s Plus on the Shutan Wide-Field Adapter at the rear port of the ETX using the Orion SteadyPix afocal adapter and 1.25" 26mm eyepiece. This is how the Moon appeared as imaged by the iPhone:


Moved the iPhone to the top port of the ETX for this afocal 48X image of the Moon:


Added the 3X TeleXtender to the 26mm eyepiece (for a magnification of 144X) and did some lunar observing. Crater Aristarchus was very bright.

Mounted the iPhone with the SteadyPix for these afocal 144X images:

Craters Copernicus (below center) and Aristarchus (right):

Crater Tycho (below and left of center):

(All the afocal images above are "mirror reversed" as seen in the eyepiece.)

1938 MST: sunset. 1940 MST: viewed Jupiter, 48X. Three moons were visible as well as some cloud bands. Then turned the ETX clock drive OFF.

Began preparing for a nice pass of the International Space Station (ISS). I wanted to image the pass using the iPhone 6s Plus with the "ISS mode" of NightCap Pro. Mounted the iPhone on a camera tripod using the SteadyPix. Unfortunately, I may have inadvertently disabled the Exposure Lock setting and so ruined the image. Rats.

2021 MST: ETX ON and resumed observing. Viewed Mars, 48X and 144X. Some surface details were visible including the North Polar Cap (very small but bright). Then viewed Saturn, 48X and 144X. Its moon Titan was visible. The planet and ring system were nice views, especially at 144X.

Yes, the "Mighty ETX" continues!

Just as I began closing up for the night I saw and killed a Kissing Bug that was on the outside of the observatory dome.

Close: Friday, 17 June 2016, 2037 MST
Temperature: 79°F
Session Length: 1h 39m
Conditions: Clear

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