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Venus on SkyShed POD Dome

Posted: 13 May 2020

Tuesday, 12 May 2020, was clear until late afternoon when clouds arrived. The night's forecast and satellite image showed that the sky should be clear by the end of Astronomical Twilight (2047 MST). So I went out to the observatory.

Open: Tuesday, 12 May 2020, 1843 MST
Temperature: 86°F
Session: 1474
Conditions: Partly cloudy, breezy

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

iPhone 11 Pro Max

1849 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1852 MST: viewed the planet Venus, 102X, 271X, and 542X.

Mounted the iPhone 11 Pro Max on the Explore Scientific 2" 100° eyepiece using the Levenhuk Smartphone Adapter.

This afocal 542X image of Venus is a stack of 2496 video frames taken with the iOS Camera app (slo-mo, 240 fps, 10 seconds). Seeing was not good due to clouds in the western sky.


1908 MST: began relaxing on the observatory patio bench while waiting to see what the clouds did.

1917 MST: sunset.

This view of the sky straight up was taken using the Camera app (0.5X ultra wide-angle lens) while I was reclining on the bench and shows the clouds over Cassiopeia Observatory.


1935 MST: the clouds have been basically stationary over Cassiopeia Observatory. The satellite image showed that these clouds were ONLY over Cassiopeia Observatory. Grumble.

1955 MST: viewed Venus, 542X.

Even though the clouds were hanging around I set up to do another "Venus on Dome" photograph using the D850 DSLR on a camera tripod.

2018 MST: Venus projected onto the SkyShed POD observatory dome, 542X. Taken with the D850 DSLR (f/5.6, 20 seconds, ISO 6400, FL 24mm). The thin crescent of Venus is very obvious.

Click or tap on image for larger version

2020 MST: Venus was now hidden by clouds.

As the clouds were still not moving away from Cassiopeia Observatory, I ended this session.

2028 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Tuesday, 12 May 2020, 2039 MST
Temperature: 72°F
Session Length: 1h 56m
Conditions: Mostly cloudy, breezy

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