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Mountain Vista School students visit Cassiopeia Observatory

Posted: 19 May 2018

Open: Friday, 18 May 2018, 1814 MST
Temperature: 80°F
Session: 1234
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

I set up some chairs and a table on the observatory patio in anticipation of special guests arriving later.

1827 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the crescent Moon, 102X and 81X. The Moon was close to Perigee (making for a "Super" crescent Moon).

Then viewed the planet Venus, 102X and 271X. The planet's gibbous phase was clearly seen. Took this handheld iPhone 8 Plus afocal 271X photo using the iOS app NightCap Camera (ISO 22, 1/4400sec):


1920 MST: sunset.

1940 MST: some students from the Oracle Mountain Vista School 4th Grade Class arrived at Cassiopeia Observatory. This was the third group of 4th grade students to visit the observatory. The first group visited on Tuesday, 23 January 2018, and a second group on Wednesday, 24 January 2018. The visits were a result of my talk to the students on Astronomy and Light Pollution in December 2017. The local newspaper covered the talk. In appreciation for my talk and the observatory visits the 4th Grade Class presented me with a certificate of appreciation and a large card (click or tap on the thumbnails for larger versions):

photo photo photo

Many thanks to the 4 Grade students for these.

The students viewed the planet Venus, the Moon, the planet Jupiter and its four Galilean Moons, and M13 (the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules). They also looked at some constellations with the assistance of the iOS app Star Walk on the teacher's iPhone.

Here is a group photo taken after the viewing:


2050 MST: the special guests left.

I mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer for these Moon photographs:

Crescent phase (1/400sec, ISO 400)

Earthshine (1/20sec, ISO 400)

The camera was removed and I did some lunar observing, 271X. I took this handheld iPhone afocal 271X photo using NightCap Camera (ISO 64, 1/120sec) showing the magnified Moon that the students observed:


2126 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Friday, 18 May 2018, 2138 MST
Temperature: 65°F
Session Length: 3h 24m
Conditions: Clear

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