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More Mountain Vista School 4th Graders visit Cassiopeia Observatory

Posted: 25 January 2018

Open: Wednesday, 24 January 2018, 1711 MST
Temperature: 74°F
Session: 1189
Conditions: Clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece
Focal Reducer
EclipseView 114
1.25" 26mm eyepiece

D7200 DSLR

This was the second night for 4th grade students from Mountain Vista School to visit Cassiopeia Observatory. I set up extra chairs and tables on the observatory patio. I also set up one of the EclipseView 114 telescopes donated to the class by Meade Instruments.

1725 MST: I viewed the near First Quarter Moon using the EclipseView, 17X.

1728 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

I viewed the Moon with the 12" LX600 telescope, 102X.

1800 MST: visitors began arriving. Once everyone arrived I took this group photo:


Some students looked at the Moon using the EclipseView telescope. Everyone had an opportunity to view the Moon in the 12" telescope using a magnification of 271X.

1845 MST: a bright pass of the International Space Station (ISS) occurred. We waved at the astronauts on the space station.

The last of the visitors were able to view the Great Nebula in Orion (M42) in the 12" telescope, 102X. Although the bright Moon interferred somewhat, they were able to see some nebulosity as well as the Trapezium star cluster.

1930 MST: the last of the visitors left.

I began preparing to photograph the Moon using the D7200 DSLR. I mounted the DSLR on the 12" telescope at prime focus + focal reducer. Took this photo of the Moon:


Removed the focal reducer and added the 2X PowerMate. Took these photos of the areas of the Moon that the students viewed:


Removed the 2X PowerMate to image the Great Nebula in Orion (M42) at prime focus. Focused on the star Betelgeuse using a Bahtinov Mask. Then slewed to M42. 2002 MST: StarLock ON.

This StarLock autoguided photo of M42 shows approximately how the Great Nebula in Orion appeared to the eye:


This photo shows how it appeared to the camera:


2006 MST: StarLock OFF.

2011 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Wednesday, 24 January 2018, 2024 MST
Temperature: 50°F
Session Length: 3h 13m
Conditions: Clear

One more visit by the 4th graders is planned. Be certain to check out the report on their first visit.

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