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Gibbous Moon, Crater Aristarchus on Terminator

Posted: 11 November 2016

Tuesday night, 8 November 2016, was clear but too windy to open the observatory. Strong winds continued on Wednesday, 9 November. Thursday, 10 November, dawned with strong breezes, but they decreased as sunset approached.

Open: Thursday, 10 November 2016, 1809 MST
Temperature: 69°F
Session: 1038
Conditions: Partly cloudy, some breezes

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
Wireless AutoStar II handset
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 50mm eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece
1.25" 9mm eyepiece

iPhone 6s Plus

As I arrived at the observatory after sunset, some clouds near the bright planet Venus were still faintly illuminated:


1818 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

I skipped viewing Saturn (too low in the west), Mars, and Venus (both bothered by clouds). But I did SYNC the AutoStar on the star Fomalhaut.

1827 MST: viewed the waxing gibbous Moon, 102X and 49X. Using the 2" 50mm eyepiece (49X) the Moon was very bright and pretty.

Switched to the 2" 30mm eyepiece (81X) for some iPhone afocal imaging of the Moon. Mounted the iPhone using the Levenhuk Smartphone Adapter. 1856 MST: took this photo:


Then ended imaging as there were now clouds in most of the sky, including where the Moon was.

Slewed back to the star Fomalhaut. Tweaked the finderscope alignment. Next, did some slewing tests using a 1.25" 12mm illuminated reticle eyepiece. 1930 MST: tests completed.

The clouds were now mostly gone so I set up again for iPhone lunar imaging, this time using a 1.25" 9mm eyepiece (271X). Seeing was not very good but I decided to try imaging anyway. The crater Aristarchus and the surrounding area on the lunar terminator looked nice. This photo shows the crater (at left):


1956 MST: viewed the Moon, 102X. Then powered off the LX600 as the breezes were getting stronger. Swapped the Wireless AutoStar II to the wired AutoStar II handcontroller for use on the next session.

Close: Thursday, 10 November 2016, 2006 MST
Temperature: 57°F
Session Length: 1h 57m
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

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