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iPhone Saturn, Mars, Critter;
D850 Cassiopeia Open Star Clusters

Posted: 31 August 2018

Wednesday, 29 August 2018, was mostly clear, but with a nighttime forecast of a overcast sky. As sunset approached the sky was still mostly clear and I began preparing to go to the observatory. As I began to head out I saw that clouds in the southern sky were now approaching at a rapid pace. By shortly after sunset the sky was cloudy. Thursday, 30 August, was mostly cloudy until late afternoon when unforecasted clearing occurred.

Open: Thursday, 30 August 2018, 1912 MST
Temperature: 80°F
Session: 1271
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece
2" 2X Powermate
Focal Reducer

iPhone 8 Plus

1918 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

SYNCed on the star Spica. Viewed Venus, 102X. Then viewed Jupiter, 102X and 271X. Next viewed was Saturn, 271X. That was followed by Mars, 271X. Mars was too low in the sky for good viewing, but the South Polar Cap and some dark surface features were visible. Returned to Saturn and viewed it at 542X. Fairly good view at this high magnification.

Mounted the iPhone 8 Plus on the 2" 9mm eyepiece + 2X Powermate using the Levenhuk adapter. Used NightCap Camera (ISO 800, 1/124sec) for this not very good stack of 924 video frames:


1945 MST: viewed Mars, 542X. Seeing still not good.

I stepped outside of the observatory and mounted the D850 DSLR on a tripod for this cropped photo of the constellation of Cassiopeia (f/1.4, 1 second, ISO 1600, FL 50mm), which clearly shows the "W" shape (as in "Weasner"):


2035 MST: viewed Mars again, 542X. Seeing was a little better now. This is a stack of 918 video frames taken with NightCap Camera (ISO 100, 1/100sec):


2042 MST: ended planet imaging.

Viewed the galaxies M110 and M31, 102X.

SYNCed on the star Shedir in the constellation of Cassiopeia. Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer to image some open star clusters in Cassiopeia to update my Cassiopeia Astrophotography Photo Album with images taken with the D850. 2100 MST: High Precision ON, StarLock ON. Took these StarLock autoguided images, cropped from full-frame, 2 minutes, ISO 3200, White Balance 5000K:








2144 MST: Ended imaging as the eastern sky was brightening from the rising waning gibbous Moon. High Precision, StarLock OFF.

Saw this praying mantis inside the observatory:


Viewed M103 (open cluster), 102X, and then Mars, 102X.

2156 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Thursday, 30 August 2018, 2207 MST
Temperature: 75°F
Session Length: 2h 55m
Conditions: Clear

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