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iPhone Astrophotography 12" LX600 and StarPro AZ 102mm,

Posted: 20 March 2020

Monday, 16 March 2020, dawned clear but clouds began appearing mid-morning with a forecast of cloudy nights until Friday. Rain began Wednesday afternoon, 18 March, totalling 0.63 for the day". That day I saw the neighbor with the greenhouse and explained the bright white light leak to him. He said he would try to reduce it. Thursday morning, 19 March, had 0.04" of rain. The sky was forecast to be cloudy that night but it actually cleared shortly after sunset.

Open: Thursday, 19 March 2020, 1850 MST
Temperature: 59°F
Session: 1447
Conditions: Mostly clear, 46% humidity

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece
StarPro AZ 102mm
1.25" 26mm eyepiece

iPhone 11 Pro Max

1856 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus, 102X

Then set up the Meade StarPro AZ 102mm refractor on the observatory patio. I would use it later for some iPhone astrophotography.


Slewed the 12" telescope to M40 (double star) and viewed it 102X and 81X.

1918 MST: Used the StarPro refractor to view Venus, 25X. Nice view. Near half-phase easily seen.

Then began waiting for the sky to get darker. Mounted the iPhone 11 Pro Max on the 2" 30mm eyepiece on the 12" telescope using the Levenhuk adapter.

1949 MST: StarLock ON.

Took this StarLock autoguided afocal 81X image of Messier 40 using NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 12500, 1sec, 1 minute exposure, 1X lens).


1953 MST: StarLock OFF.

1957 MST: LX600 OFF.

As I stepped outside of the observatory to start using the StarPro refractor I heard a packrat on a POD bay beneath the PZT. Managed to get a couple of iPhone photos.


Viewed M42 (Orion Nebula) through the 102mm refractor, 25mm. Good view. I then mounted the iPhone on the StarPro 26mm eyepiece using the Meade adapter.

Took this afocal 25X image of M42. It is a 20 seconds exposure using the SpiralCam iOS app that I'm testing.


Next, viewed M45 (Pleiades), 25X. Took this 30 seconds exposure.


I still have more tests to do with the SpiralCam app and will post a detailed review once I complete my testing.

2035 MST: ended iPhone astrophotography.

2045 MST: took a sky quality reading with the Unihedron SQM. Reported the reading to Globe at Night.

Close: Thursday, 19 March 2020, 2051 MST
Temperature: 44°F
Session Length: 2h 01m
Conditions: Mostly clear, 59% humidity, SQM 21.23

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