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M87 Jet; Centaurus A; iPhone Omega Centauri

Posted: 10 May 2018

Open: Wednesday, 9 May 2018, 1900 MST
Temperature: 81°F
Session: 1227
Conditions: Mostly clear

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

iPhone 8 Plus

1915 MST: sunset.

1921 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus, 102X.

Prepared the D850 DSLR for prime focus imaging.

1950 MST: dome OFF (onto POD Zenith Table; PZT).

2003 MST: viewed the galaxy M87, 102X. SYNCed the AutoStar on it. I last imaged this galaxy and the jet from its black hole in May 2016 using a D7200 DSLR on the 12" telescope. I would image it this night with the D850 DSLR.

2006 MST: Jupiter rose over the hill to the southeast.

2030 MST: mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope. Focused on the star Regulus.

2042 MST: StarLock ON.

This is a StarLock autoguided, 1 minute, ISO 2500, White Balance 4000K, image of M87. The jet is visible extending a short distance to the right of the galaxy.


I then slewed the telescope to the Centaurus A galaxy, but it was behind a tree. 2046 MST: StarLock OFF. 2051 MST: dome ON. Tweaked the focus using the star Spica.

2110 MST: StarLock ON.

I tried imaging Centaurus A, but seeing at its very low altitude was not good this night. I was not able to do long exposures without autoguiding errors. I did manage to get this StarLock autoguided, 1 minute, ISO 6400, WB 4000K, image:


2121 MST: StarLock OFF.

Removed the DSLR.

Viewed Omega Centauri (globular cluster), 102X and 81X.

Mounted the iPhone 8 Plus on the 2" 30mm eyepiece.

2130 MST: StarLock ON.

Took this afocal 81X image of Omega Centauri with the iPhone using the iOS app NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 1600, 1/3sec, 1 minute exposure):


2137 MST: StarLock OFF.

Ended imaging. Viewed Jupiter, 102X. Four moons visible.

2144 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Wednesday, 9 May 2018, 2152 MST
Temperature: 71°F
Session Length: 2h 52m
Conditions: Clear

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