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D850 DSLR lunar imaging

Posted: 2 February 2020

After being clear all day on Friday, 31 January 2020, unforecasted clouds rapidly arrived about sunset. Saturday, 1 February, was clear.

Open: Saturday, 1 February 2020, 1754 MST
Temperature: 70°F
Session: 1432
Conditions: Clear

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece
2" 4X Powermate

iPhone 11 Pro Max

1755 MST: sunset.

1801 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1804 MST: viewed the planet Mercury, low in the western sky, 102X. Then viewed the planet Venus, much higher in the sky, 102X.

1810 MST: viewed the near First Quarter Moon, 102X. There were some nice sights along the lunar terminator.

Next, I prepared the D850 DSLR for prime focus lunar imaging.

1824 MST: did some lunar observing, 271X. Great views.

1839 MST: mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope.

1851 MST: I noticed that Mercury was very visible to the naked eye. Took this handheld iPhone 11 Pro Max photo using the 2X telephoto lens. It is a Camera app "Night Mode' 3 seconds exposure.

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1858 MST: began lunar imaging with the D850 DSLR. This is a prime focus, 1/250sec, ISO 400, image.


1906 MST: breezes came up.

I added the Tele Vue 2" 4X Powermate and took these lunar images (1/320sec, ISO 6400).


1919 MST: ended lunar imaging.

1929 MST: viewed M50 (open star cluster) and then M67 (open cluster), both low in the eastern sky, 102X.

1939 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Saturday, 1 February 2020, 1952 MST
Temperature: 56°F
Session Length: 1h 58m
Conditions: Clear, breezy

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