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D850 Centaurus A Galaxy,
iPhone Messier Globular Clusters

Posted: 16 May 2018

Open: Tuesday, 15 May 2018, 1847 MST
Temperature: 79°F
Session: 1231
Conditions: Clear, hazy, breezy

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece
1.25" 15mm eyepiece

iPhone 8 Plus

1902 MST: spotted Venus, naked eye.

Moved to the house front patio where there is a clear view of the western horizon. I wanted to try for a very young crescent Moon (new at 0448 MST), but haze would probably prevent seeing it. I took this D850 DSLR photo (FL 300mm) just before the Sun set:


I saw a "green flash" but missed getting a photo. 1919 MST: sunset. Calm now.

I was not able to see the young crescent Moon.

1943 MST: returned to the observatory. LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus, 102X.

SYNCed on the star Spica. Began preparing the D850 DSLR for prime focus imaging with the 12" telescope.

2008 MST: slewed to Centaurus A (galaxy) and began waiting for it to become visible. Astronomical Twilight would end at 2050 MST. 2012 MST: stars were now visible in the eyepiece (102X) but no galaxy yet. 2024 MST: Centaurus A faintly visible, 102X.

2034 MST: mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus. Focused on the star Spica. 2039 MST: StarLock ON. Did some framing test exposures of Centaurus A. I then waited a few minutes for Centaurus A to get a little higher above the southern horizon (although it never gets very high from my location). 2101 MST: took this StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, White Balance Auto, image of Centaurus A:


2015 MST: StarLock OFF. Ended DSLR imaging.

2124 MST: viewed Jupiter, 102X. Four moons visible. Switched to 163X; nice view of Jupiter.

Did some iPhone video imaging of Jupiter, afocal 163X and 271X. This is a stack of 919 video frames taken with the NightCap Camera app (ISO 25, 1/35sec, 30fps, 30 seconds):


2148 MST: viewed M4 (globular cluster), 102X. Too low for imaging. Also viewed the globular clusters M10, M12, M80, and M107, 102X. Switched to the 15mm eyepiece for iPhone imaging. Took these StarLock autoguided iPhone afocal 163X photos using NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 8448, 1/3sec, 1 minute exposures):





2221 MST: StarLock OFF. I will redo M12 on the next session as it slightly trailed during the exposure.

Viewed M4 (globular cluster), 102X.

2230 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Tuesday, 15 May 2018, 2240 MST
Temperature: 67°F
Session Length: 3h 53m
Conditions: Clear

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