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Venus-Pleiades, Comets,
Neighborhood Light Nuisances

Posted: 2 April 2020

The night sky was cloudy from Sunday, 29 March 2020, to 1 April.

Open: Wednesday, 1 April 2020, 1820 MST
Temperature: 80°F
Session: 1449
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece
SkyTracker Pro

iPhone 11 Pro Max

SYNCed the observatory clock to WWV time signals.

Set up the D850 DSLR with a 150-600mm lens mounted on the SkyTracker Pro.


1838 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus, 102X and 271X.

Mounted the iPhone 11 Pro Max on the 9mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk adapter for these photos of the planet Venus, afocal 271X, using NightCap Camera.

ISO 32, 1/1500sec, 1X lens)

ISO 21, 1/710sec, 2X lens)

1905 MST: Stella Wi-Fi ON.

Used SkySafari 6 Pro on the iPhone to GOTO Comet C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS). It was not yet visible.

1915 MST: viewed Venus and the Pleiades (M45), 12x50 binoculars. Pretty sight. Venus will even closer to the Pleiades Thursday night and the closest Friday night.

1925 MST: polar aligned the SkyTracker Pro.

Pleiades and the planet Venus, tracked, D850 DSLR (f/11, 15 seconds, ISO 1600, White Balance Auto, FL 500mm.


2009 MST: viewed the Pleiades and Venus again, 12x50 binoculars.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope. Focused on the star Capella using the Meade Bahtinov Mask, then locked the primary mirror.

2023 MST: StarLock ON.

Comet C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS), StarLock autoguided, prime focus, D850 DSLR (3 minutes, ISO 6400, WB 5560K).


Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS), StarLock autoguided, prime focus, D850 DSLR (1 minute, ISO 6400, WB 5560K), 5 minute intervals.


2047 MST: StarLock OFF, Wi-Fi OFF.

2054 MST: took this handheld D850 DSLR photo (f/2.8, 1/2sec, ISO 6400, WB 5560K, FL 36mm) of Orion, Hyades, Pleiades, and Venus.


Handheld D850 DSLR photo (f/2.8, 1/2sec, ISO 6400, WB 5560K, FL 70mm) of Hyades, Pleiades, and Venus.


2100 MST: viewed Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS), 102X. Coma and bright nucleus visible. No tail visible against moonlit sky.

I then tried to see the comet using the 12x50 binoculars but the sky was too bright.

2120 MST: viewed the Moon, 102X.

Handheld iPhone 11 Pro Max photo the Moon, afocal 102X, using NightCap Camera (ISO 32, 1/450sec, 1X lens).


2125 MST: LX600 OFF.

There were two sources of Light Nuisance this night. One was the neighbor with the horizontally pointed, unshielded, overly bright floodlights (left in the photo below). The neighbor flatly stated that his lights do not shine beyond his property line. Photo proves otherwise. The other light is from another neighbor's greenhouse. He said he would try to block the bright light escaping from the enclosure. Guess he hasn't yet.


Close: Wednesday, 1 April 2020, 2135 MST
Temperature: 58°F
Session Length: 3h 15m
Conditions: Mostly clear, calm

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