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Crescent Moon, Whirlpool Galaxy,
iPhone Globular Cluster

Posted: 26 April 2020

Open: Saturday, 25 April 2020, 1809 MST
Temperature: 100°F
Session: 1462
Conditions: Mostly clear

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece
1.25" 15mm eyepiece

iPhone 11 Pro Max

1814 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1820 MST: viewed the crescent Moon, 102X.

As they needed it, I cleaned my 24mm, 30mm, and 9mm eyepieces using a LensPen. They look much nicer now.

Viewed the Moon, 81X. Good view through the clean eyepiece.

I then entered the elements for NEO Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 into the AutoStar. I did a GOTO to the Asteroid's position. I compared that position to the position in the sky shown by the iOS app SkySafari 6 Pro. They looked close to being at the same position.

Viewed Venus, 81X. Then returned to the Moon.

Next, I relaxed on the observatory patio bench while waiting for sunset.

1904 MST: sunset. I began observing for the Earthshine Visibility Project. 1924 MST: ended the observing. Reported the results.

1935 MST: Moon with Earthshine (bottom) and Venus (top), D850 DSLR (f/5, 1/15sec, ISO 3200, 165mm, handheld).


Mounted the iPhone 11 Pro Max on the 30mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk adapter. Took some images using the iOS app NightCap Camera.


Removed the iPhone from the eyepiece. Took this handheld Camera app photo of the western sky ("Night Mode", 3 seconds). The Moon and Venus are are at the left, with the constellation of Auriga above and right of Venus. The neighbor's bright unshielded floodlights can be seen in the lower righthand corner.


2005 MST: last look at the Moon, 81X and 102X.

2007 MST: GOTO Asteroid (52768) OR2. Began watching for any movement in the eyepiece, 102X. The asteroid was predicted to be Mag. +11.3 this night. After trying and failing to see any motion using the elements I entered into the AutoStar, I gave up.

2017 MST: Wi-Fi ON.

Used SkySafari 6 Pro on the iPhone to GOTO the asteroid. The telescope slewed a short distance. So there was a difference in the two predictions.

2022 MST: Movement! Saw Asteroid (52768) OR2 racing across the eyepiece field-of-view, 102X. Fast mover!

2034 MST: Wi-Fi OFF.

Slewed to M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy). Nice view, 102X.

Slewed to the star Arcturus, mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus, focused using the Meade Bahtinov Mask, and locked the 12" primary mirror. Slewed back to M51.

2049 MST: StarLock ON.

Imaged M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy), StarLock autoguided, prime focus, 2 minute exposures, ISO 5000, White Balance 5560K. This is one of the images (cropped).


I stacked 5 of the 2 minute exposures using the Mac app Observatory, with this resulting image.


Removed the D850 DSLR and mounted the iPhone on the 30mm eyepiece for some more iOS app tests for my still-in-work review.

Then slewed to M5 (globular cluster). Took this StarLock autoguided, afocal 163X image using NightCap Camera (ISO 12500, 1sec, 6 seconds, 1X lens).


2144 MST: StarLock OFF.

Viewed M5 (globular cluster), 102X.

2148 MST: LX600 OFF.

2157 MST: took a Sky Quality reading.

Close: Saturday, 25 April 2020, 2200 MST
Temperature: 70°F
Session Length: 3h 51m
Conditions: Clear, breezy, SQM 21.21

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