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Lightning; Critter; Observatory; Rising Moon

Posted: 26 October 2018

Saturday, 20 October 2018, had clouds and wind. Sunday, 21 October, clouds and winds continued with a brief thundershower in the afternoon (0.07" rain). Early Monday morning, 22 October, some lightning was captured by my webcams:


Tuesday, 23 October, was cloudy and breezy, with thundershowers in the area (0.13" rain).

Wednesday, 24 October, was mostly clear. I went out to the observatory in the morning to take some equipment photos and saw this 3" long stick bug on the dome:


This is one of the photos I took of the observatory:

Click or tap on image for larger version

I did not open the observatory Wednesday night due to a trip. Thursday, 25 October, was mostly clear.

Open: Thursday, 25 October 2018, 1807 MST
Temperature: 81°F
Session: 1293
Conditions: Mostly clear

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


1813 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the planet Jupiter, very low in the southwestern sky, 102X. It was too low in the sky for good viewing, but the four Galilean Moons were visible.

Then viewed Saturn, 102X. Seeing was not very good. Two moons were visible.

Viewed Mars, 102X. Seeing not good. There was a hint of the South Polar Cap and a dark surface area being visible.

1825 MST: viewed M31 (Andromeda Galaxy), 102X. The sky was still bright. SYNCed the AutoStar on M31.

Slewed to IC63 (Ghost of Cassiopeia Nebula). It was not yet visible due to the bright sky.

1837 MST: the eastern sky was beginning to brighten from the rising waning gibbous Moon. IC63 was not yet visible. Astronomical Twilight would end at 1903 MST, but by then the Moon would start interferring.

1841 MST: parts of IC63 were faintly visible, 102X.

1847 MST: better view of IC63, 102X, but still a difficult view.

1850 MST: viewed the double star Almaak, 102X. The separation and colors of the components were very distinct.

1900 MST: viewed the planet Uranus, very low in the eastern sky, 102X. Then the planet Neptune, 102X. Neptune's disk was not visible at 102X but was visible at 271X.

I then began waiting for the Moon to rise over the hill to the east of the observatory, which it did beginning at 1925 MST. I took the following handheld photos (cropped) using the D850 DSLR with a 300mm focal length lens. The first photo is f/11, 1/30sec, ISO 1600; the second photo using f/11, 1/160sec, ISO 200; and the remaining photos at f/11, 1/200sec, ISO 200.


1935 MST: viewed the Moon, low and through a tree, 102X.

1937 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Thursday, 25 October 2018, 1945 MST
Temperature: 64°F
Session Length: 1h 38m
Conditions: Clear

I have posted my review of the Meade Stella Wi-Fi Adapter. Meade also posted a version of my review on their web site.

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