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iPhone Moon, Mars, Neptune, & Uranus

Posted: 21 November 2018

Sunday, 18 November 2018, dawned mostly cloudy with clearing mid-day. However, smoke from the California wildfires began showing up as sunset approached. This photo was taken as the Sun was setting:


A bunny came to visit while I was photographing the sky:


Clouds continued on Monday, 19 November, with a pretty sunset:


Tuesday, 20 November, was windy and partly cloudy during the day, but was mostly clear and calm after sunset.

Open: Tuesday, 20 November 2018, 1812 MST
Temperature: 70°F
Session: 1307
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece
1.25" 15mm eyepiece
2" 2X Powermate

iPhone 8 Plus

1816 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Saturn and 3 of its moons, low in the southwest, 102X. Then viewed Mars, 102X.

Next, viewed the waxing gibbous Moon, 102X and 81X.

Mounted the iPhone 8 Plus on the 2" 30mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk Smartphone Adapter. Took this afocal 81X photo of the Moon using the iOS NightCap Camera (ISO 22, 1/5300sec):


Then did some lunar observing with the 1.25" 15mm eyepiece + 2X Powermate (325X). The crater Pythagoras at the terminator looked nice. Mounted the iPhone on the eyepiece with the Levenhuk adapter. Took this afocal 325X image of Pythagoras with NightCap Camera (ISO 22, 1/450sec):


1848 MST: viewed Mars, 325X. The South Polar Cap and a hint of a dark surface feature were visible. Took this iPhone afocal 325X photo of Mars with NightCap Camera (ISO 125, 1/100sec):


The inset shows a magnified version of Mars from the same image. The South Polar Cap is at 5 o'clock on the Martian limb).

Viewed Neptune, 325X. Mounted the iPhone and took this afocal 325X photo with NightCap Camera (ISO 3200, 1/30sec) showing the small disk and bluish color of the planet:


Lastly viewed Uranus, 325X. Mounted the iPhone and took this afocal 325X photo with NightCap Camera (ISO 800, 1/10sec) showing the its disk:


1922 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Tuesday, 20 November 2018, 1930 MST
Temperature: 60°F
Session Length: 1h 18m
Conditions: Mostly clear

I have been helping out at our local elementary school with their Model Rocket Program this academic year. Here are some 1st and 2nd grade students building their rockets:

Photo courtesy Julie Formo, Mountain Vista School

Some 3rd to 8th graders are also building rockets. We hope to start launching the rockets in mid-December. Great opportunity for the kids!

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