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Critter visitors; Moon on Dome

Posted: 24 May 2018

Monday, 21 May 2018, was mostly clear but windy. Same for Tuesday, 22 May. Wednesday, 23 May, was clear and initially the wind was calm, but returned mid-afternoon. The strong winds died down before sunset.

Just before I went out to the observatory I saw this neighbor who came to visit:

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The rattlesnake was about 5 feet long.

Open: Wednesday, 23 May 2018, 1901 MST
Temperature: 77°F
Session: 1237
Conditions: Clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece
1.25" 40mm eyepiece


As I opened the dome this little guy dropped off onto the observatory floor:


We both were startled!

1912 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the Moon, 102X and 271X. Then viewed Venus, 271X. Its phase was a little more gibbous than this night's Moon.

1924 MST: sunset.

Returned to the Moon and did some more lunar observing, 271X.

I then mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" f/8 telescope. This is a 1/250sec, ISO 200, exposure:


Removed the camera from the telescope. Projected the Moon onto the SkyShed POD dome using a 40mm eyepiece (61X). Set up the D850 DSLR on a tripod on the observatory patio and took this photo of the "Moon on Dome":

Click or tap on image for larger version

The star Vega is to the right of the dome.

2015 MST: ended imaging.

Viewed Jupiter, 61X and 102X. Four moons were visible.

Due to an early morning commitment I ended this session.

Close: Wednesday, 23 May 2018, 2031 MST
Temperature: 72°F
Session Length: 1h 30m
Conditions: Clear

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