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DSLR imaging: Saturn, Full Moon

Posted: 17 September 2016

On Friday, I and another member of the Oracle Dark Skies Committee attended a "Scenario Planning for Sustainable Dark Skies" workshop in Phoenix conducted by the Arizona State University School of Community Resources & Development. The study goal was to "measure the effect of participatory scenario planning workshops about sustainable dark night skies on participants' mental models and knowledge gain." After returning home I opened the observatory.

Open: Friday, 16 September 2016, 1818 MST
Temperature: 93°F
Session: 1012
Conditions: Clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
Wireless AutoStar II handset
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 5.5mm eyepiece
2" 2X PowerMate

D7200 DSLR

1823 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF. 1830 MST: sunset.

Viewed Venus, 102X and 443X. Using 443X the view of the planet's gibbous phase was pretty good.

1842 MST: viewed Saturn, 102X and 443X. Seeing was not too good and the sky was still too bright for a good view.

1846 MST: GC Wi-Fi Adapter ON to do some tests of ScopeBoss now that my iPhone 6s Plus had been upgraded to iOS 10. Did some basic tests and all worked properly.

1859 MST: Wi-Fi OFF. Viewed Mars, 443X. Seeing still not good but there was a hint of a dark surface feature being visible.

Returned to Saturn. The moons Titan, Rhea, Dione, and Tethys were visible at 102X. Mounted the D7200 DSLR at prime focus + 2X PowerMate. Did some 30 second HD video recordings, 60 fps, 1.3X crop factor, ISO 3200. This is a stack of 1842 video frames taken at 1/125sec:


1913 MST: ended imaging of Saturn. 1918 MST: the eastern sky was beginning to brighten from the rising Full Moon (a few hours past Full actually). 1936 MST: Moon rising over the hill to the east. 1941 MST: viewed the Moon, 102X, through tree branches. It was pretty, with a slight terminator visible.

2012 MST: mounted the DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer. The Moon's disk was too large to fit fully in the camera field-of-view so I decided to photograph the Moon using my Tamron 150-600mm lens. Removed the camera from the telescope.

2017 MST: took this (slightly cropped) handheld photo of the Moon, f/6.3, 1/400sec, ISO 100, FL 600mm:

Click or tap on image for larger version

Color saturation was increased on the photo to bring out colors on the Moon.

2022 MST: final look at the Full Moon, 102X.

Close: Friday, 16 September 2016, 2031 MST
Temperature: 73°F
Session Length: 2h 13m
Conditions: Mostly clear

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