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D850 DSLR Venus, Jupiter, Saturn,
Moon on Dome

Posted: 29 June 2018

Wednesday, 27 June 2018, was mostly clear all day until late afternoon when the sky became mostly cloudy from an approaching Monsoon storm system. Thursday, 28 June, was partly cloudy and breezy with a forecast of overcast skies and thunderstorms by sunset. However, by mid-afternoon the sky was clear, giving me some hope that I could open the observatory that evening, which I did.

Open: Thursday, 28 June 2018, 1858 MST
Temperature: 87°F
Session: 1261
Conditions: Clear, breezy

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 9mm eyepiece
2" 2X PowerMate


1906 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus, 102X, 271X, and 542X.

Mounted the D850 DSLR for eyepiece projection 542X imaging of Venus. This is a stack (Lynkeos) of 45 video frames (DX 1080p 60fps, 1/125sec, ISO 800):


1939 MST: sunset.

SYNCed the AutoStar on the star Spica. Breezes had calmed down now.

1949 MST: viewed Jupiter, 102X and 203X. Three moons were visible.

Decided to try a test of imaging Jupiter at 542X. This is a stack (Lynkeos) of 24 video frames (DX 1080p 30fps, 1/30sec, ISO 2500):


It was difficult achieving a good focus with so much magnification.

2023 MST: resumed Jupiter observing, 203X.

2024 MST: Saturn was rising over the hill to the southeast.

2026 MST: eastern sky brightening due to the rising waning gibbous Moon (1 day past Full).

2033 MST: while observing Jupiter, 203X, I noticed the fourth moon, which had been outside of the field-of-view (FOV).

2036 MST: some clouds (illuminated by the rising Moon) were visible low in the eastern sky.

2053 MST: viewed Saturn, 203X, low in the southeast.

2058 MST: while observing Saturn, 203X, an Earth-orbiting satellite crossed the FOV.

2114 MST: the Moon was now rising over the hill to the southeast. No clouds were visible.

2121 MST: removed the 2X PowerMate and observed Saturn, 102X. Five moons were visible: Titan, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, and Iapetus.

2124 MST: strong breezes returned.

Mounted the D850 DSLR for eyepiece projection 271X imaging of Saturn. This is a stack (Lynkeos) of 24 video frames (DX 1080p 30fps, 1/60sec, ISO 5000):


2155 MST: there were clouds low in the southeastern sky again.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope for this image of the Moon (1/250sec, ISO 100):


2200 MST: viewed the Moon (bright), 102X.

I projected the Moon onto the observatory dome.

2212 MST: I stepped outside of the observatory and took this tripod-mounted, D850 DSLR photograph (f/8, 15 seconds, ISO 6400, FL 24mm) of the Moon on the Dome and Jupiter in the sky:

Mouseover or tap on image
Mouseover or tap on image for labels

2220 MST: returned to the observatory and terminated a Kissing Bug.

2221 MST: final view of the Moon, 102X.

2222 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Thursday, 28 June 2018, 2234 MST
Temperature: 80°F
Session Length: 3h 36m
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

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