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ETX-125AT iPhone Moon Imaging,
Moon and Planets Observing

Posted: 19 June 2016

A new Arizona wildfire started Friday morning, 17 June 2016. Saturday morning, 18 June, I took some photos of the Brown Fire burning near Baboquiviri Mountains (south of Kitt Peak National Observatory), about 70 miles to the southwest of Oracle. Here's a photo taken with the D7200 DSLR and 600mm lens showing Cassiopeia Observatory, Baboquiviri Peak, and the smoke to the left (east) of the Peak:

Click or tap on image for a closer view

By the afternoon the fire had increased about 5X from what it had been.

Open: Saturday, 18 June 2016, 1858 MST
Temperature: 99°F
Session: 987
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
AutoStar #497 handset
1.25" 26mm eyepiece
1.25" 3X TeleXtender

D7200 DSLR
iPhone 6s Plus

It has been a couple of years since I used my 16+ year old Meade ETX-125AT from the observatory. I set up the ETX-125AT on the observatory patio before sunset:


Baboquiviri Peak was obscured by the smoke, but the ETX-125AT can be seen next to my observatory.

1914 MST: nearly Full Moon rising over the hill to the east taken with the Nikon D7200 DSLR using the Tamrom 150-600mm lens at FL 600mm:


1937 MST: sunset. ETX ON. Faked the star alignment by accepting the alignment stars as centered even though they were not visible due to the still bright sky. Viewed the Moon, 73X. Lovely view. A slight terminator was visible. Did some brief lunar observing, 219X.

Set up for iPhone afocal imaging on the ETX-125AT using the Orion SteadyPix adapter. This iPhone 6s Plus image was taken at 73X:


Added the 3X TeleXtender for these iPhone afocal 219X images:

Craters Copernicus (left of center) and Aristarchus (right of center):

Crater Tycho (left of center):

Compare the above images to the same views from the previous night.

I then ended iPhone imaging. Slewed to Spica and SYNCed the AutoStar on it for a good star alignment. Did a GOTO Jupiter and viewed it at 219X. Good view of the planet. The four Galilean Moons were visible.

GOTO Mars and viewed it, 219X. Seeing was not very good but at times several dark areas and the North Polar Cap were visible. While viewing Mars saw a faint satellite pass through the field-of-view.

GOTO Saturn. Pretty good view, 219X. The moon Titan was visible as well as some cloud bands on the planet and Cassini Division. At 73X the view of Saturn was lovely.

2021 MST: back to the Moon for a final look, 73X.

Close: Saturday, 18 June 2016, 2036 MST
Temperature: 81°F
Session Length: 1h 38m
Conditions: Mostly clear

Sunday morning, 19 June, a lot of smoke from the Brown Fire was visible along the western horizon, as seen in my webcam image:


For those who need it, I have posted the Revolution Imager settings as a PDF. The Excel version is also available.

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