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Storms, Snakes, Jupiter

Posted: 30 August 2019

Cloudy skies returned on Sunday, 25 August 2019, and continued until Tuesday, 27 August. Tuesday morning was totally clear, but with conflicting forecasts for that night. The sky would either be totally clear, partly cloudy, or mostly cloudy. The winning forecast was partly cloudy. Wednesday evening, 28 August, a Monsoon Season storm came through the area with lightning, but minimal rain at Cassiopeia Observatory (0.04").

photo photo photo

Thursday morning, 29 August, saw this neighbor next to the house. Photographed from inside through a window. And yep, it's a Diamond rattlesnake.


The sky was mostly clear Thursday, 29 August. Went out to the observatory as the sun was setting. I saw a storm cloud to the north and decided to photograph it. As I was moving around trying to get a good location for the photo I almost stepped on this Diamond rattlesnake!


First time I've seen two rattlesnakes here in one day!

This is the storm photo:


Open: Thursday, 29 August 2019, 1853 MST
Temperature: 98°F
Session: 1378
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 9mm eyepiece
Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector

iPhone 8 Plus

After opening the dome I took this photo of the storm to the north:


1906 MST: the storm to the north was getting closer.

1911 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

There was also a storm to the southeast. Saw some lightning from the storm to the north.

Viewed Jupiter, 102X. The four Galilean Moons were visible.

1916 MST: viewed Saturn, 102X. The moon Titan was visible. The view of Saturn was very good, but clouds were getting closer to the planet.

1926 MST: viewed Jupiter using the Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector, 271X. Good view. Although clouds were close to Jupiter I took some iPhone 8 Plus afocal 271X videos and single exposure images. By the time I got going with the imaging, seeing had deteriorated some.

This is a stack of 2576 slo-mo (240fps) video frames.


This is a single exposure using NightCap Camera (ISO 22, 1/13sec).


1940 MST: clouds from the storm that had been in the northern sky had now reached the zenith.

1946 MST: the clouds were approaching Saturn in the southern sky. Began ending this session.

1950 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Thursday, 29 August 2019, 2005 MST
Temperature: 88°F
Session Length: 1h 12m
Conditions: Mostly cloudy

The Planetary Society has posted my LightSail 2 satellite photo from 24 August 2019 on their web site.

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