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Nearly Full Moon Projected on Observatory Dome

Posted: 1 March 2018

Wind, clouds, and then rain arrived on Tuesday, 27 February 2018. Received 0.27" rain before it turned to snow (about 1/4") before sunrise on Wednesday, 28 February. Light snow continued for awhile after sunrise. Here's a snow capped cactus:


Precipitation total from this storm was 0.52". Some parts of Oracle (at a slightly higher elevation) received 2" of snow. The sky began clearing mid-day and was clear by sunset.

Open: Wednesday, 28 February 2018, 1823 MST
Temperature: 57°F
Session: 1207
Conditions: Clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 40mm eyepiece

iPhone 8 Plus

Before I opened the dome I wiped off some water from the dome flange. There was still some ice on the north side of the dome.

1830 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus and then Mercury, low in the western sky, 102X. Switched to 12x50 binoculars. Both planets were in the same field-of-view with the binoculars. They will have a close conjuntion (1.1°) Saturday evening.

Next, viewed the nearly Full Moon, 102X and 81X. A slight terminator was visible with the Moon about 23 hours from being precisely Full.

Attached the iPhone 8 Plus to the 2" 40mm eyepiece. Used the iOS app NightCap Camera for this photo of the Moon (ISO 22, 1/5300sec):


With the 40mm eyepiece (81X) the Moon was showing up very nicely when projected on the inside of the SkyShed POD dome. I decided to take some handheld photos of the observatory and the projected Moon using the D850 DSLR. This photo is f/2.8, 1/2sec, ISO 2000, FL 24mm:


Photographing the Moon on the observatory dome always results in unique images. You can see more of my "Moon on Dome" photos on the Observatory Photo Album page.

1905 MST: last look at the Moon, 102X.

1906 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Wednesday, 28 February 2018, 1915 MST
Temperature: 47°F
Session Length: 0h 52m
Conditions: Clear

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