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Short Moon Observing Session,
iPhone Lunar Astrophotography

Posted: 29 December 2017

Cloudy skies returned on Saturday, 23 December 2017. I installed a Leviton Grounded Switch Tap to control the GC Wi-Fi Adapter in the observatory. In the past whenever I wanted to use the Wi-Fi adapter for telescope control I would plug in its AC adapter into the surge protector power strip. I then unplugged it when I finished as I did not use Wi-Fi all the time. It finally occurred to me that using a small switch to control the adapter power would be more effective and efficient. The Leviton switch is perfect for my solution:


I actually bought two of these switches and will use the second one when I get another AC adapter-powered accessory for the observatory that is only used occasionally.

Sunday, 24 December 2017, dawned clear (the forecast was for continued cloudy skies), but had clouds by sunset on Christmas Eve:


Cloudy skies continued until Thursday, 28 December. An overcast sky on Wedneday, 27 December, made me miss out on imaging a transit of the Sun by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Open: Thursday, 28 December 2017, 1813 MST
Temperature: 71°F
Session: 1180
Conditions: Clear, breezy

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece

iPhone 8 Plus

1819 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the waxing gibbous Moon, 102X.

Switched to the 2" 30mm eyepiece and mounted the iPhone 8 Plus on it using the Levenhuk adapter. Began imaging the Moon using the iOS app NightCap Camera.

Afocal 81X (ISO 22, 1/1500sec)

Switched to the 2" 100° eyepiece (271X) and did some lunar observing. Nice sights tonight.

Mounted the iPhone 8 Plus on the 9mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk adapter. Took the following images using NightCap Camera.

Afocal 271X (ISO 25, 1/70sec)

Afocal 271X (ISO 25, 1/150sec)

Afocal 271X (ISO 25, 1/450sec)

Removed the iPhone and adapter. Did some more lunar observing, 271X.

1843 MST: Wi-Fi ON. Used the switch mentioned at the beginning of this report. Then did some connection and GOTO tests using the new SkySafari 6 Pro iOS app that I had installed on the iPhone 8 Plus. All tests were good. During the tests viewed the planet Uranus, 102X. 1848 MST: Wi-Fi OFF. Using the switch for the Wi-Fi AC power adapter worked out well, especially with the low red illumination in the observatory.

1853 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Thursday, 28 December 2017, 1900 MST
Temperature: 64°F
Session Length: 0h 47m
Conditions: Clear

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