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Near Earth Object Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2

Posted: 30 April 2020

Open: Wednesday, 29 April 2020, 1812 MST
Temperature: 99°F
Session: 1466
Conditions: Mostly clear

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

iPhone 11 Pro Max

1818 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus, 102X, 163X, and 325X. Added a Moon Filter to the 15mm eyepiece to reduce the planet's brightness. Nice view.

Mounted the iPhone 11 Pro Max on the 15mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk Smartphone Adapter. Took this afocal 375X + Moon Filter image of Venus using the iOS app NightCap Camera (ISO 32, 1/1250sec, 1X lens).


1836 MST: dome OFF

Slewed to the Moon, which was near the Zenith. Nice views, 102X and 81X. Took this photo with the iPhone front camera showing the telescope aimed at the Moon.


1907 MST: sunset (time approximate due to the clouds in the west).

Mounted the iPhone on the 30mm eyepiece and took this NightCap Camera photo (ISO 32, 1/1250sec, 1X lens).


I did some tests of an iOS app for another upcoming review.

After completing this night's app tests I mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus to image Near Earth Object Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2. It had its closest approach to the Earth (about 4 million miles) on 29 October 2020 at 0256 MST (below the horizon from Cassiopeia Observatory). The asteroid would be Mag. +10.8 this night.

With my initial preparations completed, I relaxed on the observatory patio bench. I listened to Al Hirt playing his trumpet on the Apple iPod inside the SkyShed POD as I enjoyed watching the stars come out. This was my view of the observatory from the bench.


1948 MST: back in the observatory to do final preparations for imaging Asteroid 1998 OR2. Slewed to the star Alphard, SYNCed on Alphard, focused, and locked the primary mirror.

2011 MST: Wi-Fi ON.

Used the iOS app SkySafari 6 Pro to GOTO the asteroid.

2012 MST: StarLock ON.

I then did some framing test images of the asteroid. Once I had the asteroid near the center of the camera field-of-view I began imaging. I did 10 StarLock autoguided images (15 seconds, ISO 6400, White Balance 5560K) with one image every 30 seconds. The top image is a merge of all ten images. The bottom image shows the movement of Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 over 4 and half minutes.


2024 MST: StarLock OFF. (Wi-Fi rechargeable battery had died.)

2031 MST: LX600 OFF.

2038 MST: dome ON.

Close: Wednesday, 29 April 2020, 2041 MST
Temperature: 76°F
Session Length: 2h 29m
Conditions: Mostly clear

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