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iPhone Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars

Posted: 29 August 2018

Open: Tuesday, 28 August 2018, 1826 MST
Temperature: 80°F
Session: 1270
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece
2" 4X Powermate
Focal Reducer

iPhone 8 Plus

1837 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus, 102X and 325X. Then mounted the iPhone 8 Plus for afocal 325X imaging of Venus. This is a stack of 2485 slo-mo (240fps) video frames (Camera app):


1854 MST: sunset (time approximate due to clouds).

Next, mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus to acquire a "flat" image of the twilight sky for use in future post-processing. Also did a "flat" at prime focus + focal reducer.

1907 MST: viewed Jupiter, 325X. The four Galilean Moons were visible. Seeing was not good. Mounted the iPhone for afocal 325X imaging. This is a stack of 922 video frames (30fps) taken with NightCap Camera (ISO 100, 1/202sec):


1919 MST: saw and terminated a Kissing Bug. This was the first time I'd seen a Kissing Bug during the "Second Kissing Bug Season" of August-September. Normally I have seen them only May-June.

Slewed to Saturn and took this afocal 325X photo using NightCap Camera (ISO 320, 1/30sec):


This afocal 325X image is a stack of 922 video frames (30fps) taken with NightCap Camera (ISO 320, 1/30sec):


1930 MST: viewed Mars, 325X. Seeing was pretty bad due to thin clouds.

1939 MST: Kissing Bug #2 terminated.

1947 MST: seeing at Mars was a little better. This afocal 325X image is a stack of 922 video frames (30fps), NightCap Camera (ISO 100, 1/813sec):


1955 MST: ended planet imaging. Viewed Mars, 325X. The South Polar Cap and the North Polar Hood were visible. A faint (due to Martian dust) dark surface feature was barely visible.

Then mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer. 2014 MST: Wi-Fi ON. Used SkySafari 6 Pro on the iPhone to GOTO NEO Asteroid 2016 NF23, Mag. +17.0, which was making its closest approach (about 3 million miles) to the Earth. 2017 MST: Wi-Fi OFF, StarLock ON. Took two StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, exposures. Unfortunately, during post-processing the asteroid was not visible. I have photographed much fainter asteroids, so perhaps there was a pointing error or thin clouds interferred.

2030 MST: eastern sky brightening from rising waning gibbous Moon.

2046 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Tuesday, 28 August 2018, 2058 MST
Temperature: 76°F
Session Length: 2h 32m
Conditions: Mostly clear

Last week we visited Lick Observatory in California. Click the link to see my report.

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