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iPhone 8 Plus Astrophotography: M74 Galaxy

Posted: 19 November 2017

Saturday, 18 November 2017, was clear most of the day with some strong wind at times. As sunset approached the wind began dying down, but a few clouds started coming in from the west.

Open: Saturday, 18 November 2017, 1729 MST
Temperature: 68°F
Session: 1166
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece

iPhone 8 Plus

First, I SYNCed the observatory clock to WWV time signals.

Next, I began trying to observe a very young crescent Moon using 12x50 binoculars. No joy. Some clouds low along the western horizon hampered my attempt.

1754 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the planet Saturn, low in the southwestern sky, 102X. Its moon Titan was visible.

Slewed the 12" telescope to the star Capella, low in the southeastern sky, to begin doing some mirror lock tests. 1835 MST: tests ended.

Viewed the galaxy M74, 102X and 81X. Mounted the iPhone 8 Plus on the 2" 30mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk adapter. 1850 MST: StarLock ON. Took this afocal 81X StarLock autoguided image of M74 using the iOS app NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 8448, 1/3sec, 1 minute exposure):


The faint fuzzy object at the center of the image is the nucleus of the galaxy.

1903 MST: StarLock OFF.

Viewed the galaxy M77, 81X. It was too low in the eastern sky to image at this time. I hope to image it using the iPhone on a future session.

1921 MST: viewed M77, 102X. Breezes were getting stronger. Clouds in the southern sky were getting more numerous. Decided to close up.

1924 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Saturday, 18 November 2017, 1931 MST
Temperature: 58°F
Session Length: 2h 02m
Conditions: Mostly clear

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