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Imaging: Venus, Comet 41P/T-G-K, Seven Galaxies

Posted: 17 March 2017

The sky was mostly cloudy on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, but cleared again on Thursday, 16 March. I installed the two remaining solar pathway lights that I discussed on the previous report. This is how those two lights looked along the pathway to the observatory (seen at upper left):


Open: Thursday, 16 March 2017, 1804 MST
Temperature: 93°F
Session: 1087
Conditions: Mostly clear

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

iPhone 6s Plus
D7200 DSLR

1809 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1811 MST: viewed the planet Venus, 102X and 271X (with one of the Variable Polarizing Filters). Thin crescent visible.

Began setting up for iPhone imaging. Mounted the iPhone on the 12" telescope using the Levenhuk Smartphone Adapter. Did some video recordings using the iOS app NightCap Pro. This is a stack of 277 frames, ISO 25, 1/1500sec:


I then did a Facebook Live Video Stream showing the planet Venus through the 12" telescope. A replay of the video stream is available.

1835 MST: sunset. 1843 MST: ended the Facebook Live Video.

1854 MST: last look at Venus, 102X.

Slewed the telescope to NGC2683 (galaxy), which would be my first galaxy imaging target this night.

1931 MST: tried to view Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak using the 12x50 binoculars, but it was too faint.

1941 MST: took the D7200 DSLR photo of the pathway lights seen at the top of this report.

1945 MST: set up for DSO imaging. Mounted the D7200 DSLR at 12" prime focus + focal reducer, focused on the star Regulus using the Bahtinov Mask, and locked the primary mirror.

1955 MST: slewed to NGC2683 (galaxy), StarLock ON. This is a StarLock autoguided 5 minutes, ISO 6400, White Balance Auto, image of NGC2683:


2006 MST: turned on the GC Wi-Fi Adapter and used SkySafari 5 Pro on the iPhone to GOTO Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak. The comet was faintly visible in the DSLR viewfinder. This is a StarLock autoguided 2 minutes, ISO 6400, image of Comet 41P/T-G-K:


2033 MST: then started imaging some more Messier Catalog objects for my Messier Astrophotography Photo Album update. First was M105 (upper right in this image, along with NGC3371 at upper left and NGC3373 at the lower left), autoguided 5 minutes, ISO 6400:


This is M66, one of the Leo Triplet of Galaxies, autoguided 5 minutes, ISO 6400:


And M65, another of the Leo Triplet of Galaxies, autoguided 1 minute, ISO 6400:


Seeing had deteoriated and only a short exposure of M65 was possible.

I rotated the camera field-of-view for this StarLock autoguided 5 minutes, ISO 6400, image of the Leo Triplet of Galaxies (NGC3628 at left, M66 lower right, and M65 upper right):


2128 MST: ended imaging.

2135 MST: viewed the Leo Triplet of Galaxies, 102X. All three galaxies were visible in the 2" 24mm Ultra Wide Angle eyepiece. Then viewed M105, with NGC3371 and NGC3373 visible in the same field-of-view, 102X.

2141 MST: Wi-Fi ON; used SkySafari 5 Pro to GOTO Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak. The comet's nucleus was visible along with a large faint coma, 102X. No tail was visible.

2147 MST: some breezes began. 2148 MST: Wi-Fi OFF.

Viewed Jupiter, low in the southeast and in a tree, 102X. The view was not very good but the North and South Equatorial Belts were visible as were the four Galilean Moons. I then used the 12x50 binoculars to view Jupiter. All four moons were visible in the binoculars.

2159 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Thursday, 16 March 2017, 2207 MST
Temperature: 66°F
Session Length: 4h 03m
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

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