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Old meets New:
iPhone/Watch Moon imaging with ETX-90RA

Posted: 13 July 2016

Open: Tuesday, 12 July 2016, 1906 MST
Temperature: 96°F
Session: 998
Conditions: Clear, breezy

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

iPhone 6s Plus

Set up my nearly 20 year old Meade ETX-90RA telescope on the observatory patio:


1936 MST: sunset. ETX ON. No star alignment required since the ETX-90RA does not have a GOTO computer. Just aligned the mount polar axis to the North Celestial Pole (approximately).

Viewed the Moon, 48X, and 144X. Nice views. However, the Scopetronix MicroStar II+ add-on that I received in 1998 no longer slews reliably in Right Ascension or Declination. The motors turn but the telescope does not move. I had a lot great years of use with the MicroStar II+, but I guess it is time to retire it. I have an old ETX-90EC base that I was given several years ago. Will have to check it out. If it still works I will defork the ETX-90 OTA (Optical Tube Assembly) from the old RA mount and put in on the EC mount.

I then mounted the iPhone 6s Plus on the ETX-90RA using the Orion SteadyPix afocal adapter. This is the Moon in the old ETX-90RA with the iPhone, afocal 48X:


And along the lunar terminator, afocal 144X:



I used the Apple Watch as a remote shutter release for the iOS Camera app. Here is how the Moon appeared live on the Watch:

photo photo

2000 MST: ended lunar imaging. Removed the iPhone and SteadyPix from the ETX-90RA. Viewed Jupiter, 48X. Three moons were visible. Switched to 144X; the Jovian cloud bands were nicely visible.

Next viewed was Mars, 144X. Gibbous phase was evident but no surface details were clearly visible.

Then viewed Saturn, 144X. Nice view of the Ringed Planet. Cassini Division, some cloud bands, and the moon Titan were visible.

Took a final look at the Moon, 48X.

2011 MST: ETX OFF. Using the ETX-90RA is always enjoyable.

As I began closing up for the night I saw and terminated a Kissing Bug.

Close: Tuesday, 12 July 2016, 2025 MST
Temperature: 82°F
Session Length: 1h 19m
Conditions: Clear

I imaged the First Quarter Moon on the previous session. Bill Dillon in Houston, TX, also imaged the Moon about the same time as I did. Both of us used an iPhone. I took my photo using an ETX-125AT (5" telescope, left); Bill used a 12" telescope (right). I created a "3D" version of our images:

Click or tap on image for larger version

Use the "fusion" technique to merge the images into the single "3D" image. There are some more "3D" lunar images on the Photo Albums: Moon page.

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