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iPhone Moon;
DSLR Pleiades, Little Dumbbell Nebula, NGC1275 galaxy

Posted: 9 September 2016

Clouds began showing up Monday afternoon, 5 September 2016, along with strong breezes. Hurricane Newton in the Pacific was approaching the coast and was forecast to reach southern Arizona as a tropical storm remnant by late Tuesday into Wednesday, dropping up to 3" rain. However, as the storm crossed the International Border it turned eastward instead of proceeding mostly north. Still received 0.82" on Wednesday at Cassiopeia Observatory from almost continuous light rain. As expected, the interior of the SkyShed POD stayed dry. The sky cleared on Thursday, 8 September.

Open: Thursday, 8 September 2016, 2109 MST
Temperature: 75°F
Session: 1009
Conditions: Clear, humid

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
Wireless AutoStar II handset
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece

iPhone 6s Plus
D7200 DSLR

2116 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the near First Quarter Moon, 102X.

Took this handheld iPhone 6s Plus afocal 102X photo:


Switched to 271X and did some lunar viewing. Seeing was not good but there were some nice sights along the terminator.

Handheld afocal 271X iPhone photos:




2137 MST: viewed M15 (globular cluster), 102X. It was a good object even with the bright sky due to the Moon.

2151 MST: viewed Uranus, 102X, very low in the East. Fairly good view at 271X with disk nicely visible.

2216 MST: Wi-Fi Adapter ON. Used SkySafari 5 Pro on the iPhone to GOTO the asteroid Ceres, very low in the East. It was not quite visible yet.

Began preparing the DSLR for imaging.

2235 MST: Ceres was now above the hill. But identifying it in a sea of stars was challenging. Had planned to image Ceres and the asteroid Melpomene close together earlier in the week but cloudy skies prevented that. 2325 MST: took an image at prime focus + focal reducer; if possible will get another image for comparison on a future session.

2335 MST: Wi-Fi OFF. Slewed to M45 (Pleiades). StarLock ON. This is a 5 minute (StarLock autoguided), ISO 6400, White Balance 4000K, image of the nebulosity around stars in the Pleiades:


Then imaged M76 (Little Dumbbell Nebula), prime focus + focal reducer. 5 minute (StarLock autoguided), ISO 6400, White Balance 4000K:


And the last image of the night was of NGC1275 (galaxy) and many fainter galaxies, 5 minute (StarLock autoguided), ISO 6400, White Balance 4000K:


If you look closely you were see many fuzzy objects in the photo above. Those are galaxies.

0038 MST: ended imaging. Viewed NGC1275, 102X. Using averted vision, NGC1275 and two fainter galaxies were seen.

Close: Friday, 9 September 2016, 0106 MST
Temperature: 68°F
Session Length: 3h 57m
Conditions: Clear

I have posted a review of the Manfrotto Ball Head Camera Mount.

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