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Venus-Mercury Conjunction, Bright Bolide,
More New Eyepiece Tests

Posted: 22 May 2020

Open: Thursday, 21 May 2020, 1810 MST
Temperature: 90°F
Session: 1481
Conditions: Clear

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece
2" 5.5mm 100° eyepiece
2" 14mm 100° eyepiece

iPhone 11 Pro Max

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

Viewed Venus, 102X, 271X, and 443X. Nice thin crescent.

Mounted the iPhone on the 5.5mm eyepiece. This is a stack of 2498 video frames (slo-mo, 240fps, 10 seconds), afocal 443X.


Viewed Venus, 174X.

1852 MST: relaxed on the observatory patio bench while waiting for sunset.

1911 MST: mounted the D850 DSLR at the 12" telescope prime focus + focal reducer.

1923 MST: sunset.

1930 MST: the planets Venus (upper right) and Mercury (lower left), 1/2500sec, ISO 400.

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The thin crescent of Venus (distorted by the Earth's atmosphere) and the half-phase of Mercury are visible in the photo.

1932 MST: viewed Venus and Mercury, 12x50 binoculars. Pretty sight.

Removed the camera and viewed Mercury, 174X.

1950 MST: I stepped outside of the observatory for this photograph of the conjunction of Venus and Mercury (upper left) and the observatory (f/4.5, 1/20sec, ISO 1600, focal length 70mm).

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Did some tests with the new eyepieces for an upcoming review.

2013 MST: briefly reclined on the bench to wait for the sky to get a little darker.

2022 MST: did some did Deep Sky Object (DSO) observing, 174X: the open star clusters M35, M36, and M37, and then the Eskimo Nebula (NGC2392).

2036 MST: relaxed on the bench again.

2047 MST: saw a very bright bolide moving near the Zenith from Boötes to Ursa Minor. As it brightened it was orange in color and even exploded at one point. Impressive!

2053 MST: resumed observing DSOs, 174X: M83 (Southern Pinwheel Galaxy), M65 and M66 (galaxies), NGC3628 (Sarah's Galaxy), M81 (Bode's Galaxy), M82 (Cigar Galaxy), M101 (galaxy), and M57 (Ring Nebula).

2128 MST: LX600 OFF.

2137 MST: did a Sky Quality reading and reported the results to Globe at Night.

Close: Thursday, 21 May 2020, 2140 MST
Temperature: 63°F
Session Length: 3h 30m
Conditions: Clear, SQM 21.24

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