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Venus and Pleiades

Posted: 4 April 2020

Open: Friday, 3 April 2020, 1819 MST
Temperature: 81°F
Session: 1451
Conditions: Partly cloudy

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 50mm eyepiece
SkyTracker Pro

iPhone 11 Pro Max

1826 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the Moon, 102X and 49X.

Mounted the iPhone 11 Pro Max on the 50mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk adapter.

Took these afocal 49X photos of the Moon using the iOS app NightCap Camera.

1X lens (ISO 32, 1/4300sec)

2X lens (ISO 21, 1/2700sec)

1842 MST: viewed Venus, 49X.

Set up the D850 DSLR and 150-600mm lens on the SkyTracker Pro on the observatory patio.


The planet Venus with the D850 DSLR (f/22, 1/250sec, ISO 100, White Balance Auto, FL 600mm). The inset shows Venus (that dot at the center) magnified to show its phase.


1845 MST: sunset.

1853 MST: viewed Venus and some stars in the Pleiades, 50mm.

1912 MST: viewed Venus and the Pleiades, 12x50 binoculars. Nice view.

Viewed Venus and the Pleiades, 49X. The field-of-view was not wide enough to get all the stars of the Pleiades in the field.

Mounted the iPhone on the 50mm eyepiece. Clouds were frequently passing through the field-of-view, as seen in this NightCap Camera photo (ISO 400, 1/4sec, 1X lens).


1927 MST: polar aligned the SkyTracker Pro.

The sky was now mostly cloudy but there was a hole in the western sky, as seen in this iPhone photo taken with the iOS Camera app (Night Mode, 3 seconds, handheld). Orion is at the left, Hyades near center, and Venus and the Pleiades at the right.


1957 MST: Venus and the Pleiades with D850 DSLR (f/22, 30 seconds, ISO 1600, White Balance 5560K, FL 600mm), tracked.


This animation shows the movement of Venus near the Pleiades on 2 April and 3 April, cropped from the FL 600mm photos from both nights.


2011 MST: handheld D850 DSLR photo of the western sky and clouds (f/3.5, 1/2sec, ISO 6400, WB 5560K, FL 24mm). The bright star Sirius is at left, Orion left of center, Taurus right of center, and Venus and the Pleiades at the right.


2013 MST: ended imaging.

2014 MST: last look at Venus closest to the Pleiades, 102X. They will wider apart the next night.

2015 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Friday, 3 April 2020, 2026 MST
Temperature: 61°F
Session Length: 2h 07m
Conditions: Mostly cloudy

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