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Jupiter, Saturn, Teapot

Posted: 21 September 2019

Open: Friday, 20 September 2019, 1815 MST
Temperature: 91°F
Session: 1384
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 3X TeleXtender
Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector


1822 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1826 MST: sunset.

1831 MST: located Venus in the 7x50 finderscope. Centered and viewed Venus, 102X. It was essentially a small fully illuminated disk very low in the western sky. I did not try using the Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector as Venus was about to disappear behind a tree.

1835 MST: began looking for Mercury in the 7x50 finderscope. 1850 MST: gave up searching for Mercury as it would now have been behind a tree.

Viewed Jupiter and four moons, 102X. Seeing was not very good.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + 3X TeleXtender + Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector (ADC). Did 1 minute long video recordings of Jupiter and Saturn, 1080p, 24fps, 5X slo-mo, using various exposures. Although seeing was not very good, the images can out fairly well.

Jupiter, stack of 5862 frames, 1/200sec, ISO 2500

Saturn, stack of 5307 frames, 1/125sec, ISO 6400

1924 MST: removed the camera, TeleXtender, and ADC. Viewed Saturn and four moons, 102X.

1930 MST: the breezes were calmer now but still occasionally strong.

1933 MST: High Precision ON.

Slewed to NGC7305 (galaxy) to check on StarLock autoguiding seeing conditions.

1935 MST: StarLock ON.

Autoguiding was erratic due to the poor seeing.

1937 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

I decided to try handheld imaging of the Sagittarius "Teapot", Saturn, and the Milky Way using the D850. Although somewhat "noisy", this image (f/5.6, 1/2sec, ISO 102400, White Balance 4550K, focal length 70mm) shows all three.

Mouseover or tap on image
Mouseover or tap on image for labels

At this point I ended the session due to the poor seeing and the fact that I would have a long day and night at Oracle State Park (our local IDA "International Dark Sky Park") the next day. I am giving a talk on the potential for Oracle to become an IDA "International Dark Sky Community". There will be a star party at the Park following my talk.

1952 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Friday, 20 September 2019, 2005 MST
Temperature: 76°F
Session Length: 1h 50m
Conditions: Mostly clear

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