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Mars on Dome, Mars imaging

Posted: 5 October 2020

Sunday, 4 October 2020, dawned with very little smoke in the sky.

Open: Sunday, 4 October 2020, 2038 MST
Temperature: 76°F
Session: 1531
Conditions: Clear

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

iPhone 11 Pro Max

2045 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

The waning gibbous had risen over the hill to the east, which would make imaging Mars on the observatory dome a challenge.

Viewed Mars, 102X and 443X.

As Monday night, 5 October, when Mars would be at its closest to the Earth, is forecast to be cloudy I decided to do a "Mars on Dome" photograph this session. I began setting up to image the planet Mars projected onto the dome at 443X.

2105 MST: Mars on Dome with D850 DSLR (f/2.8, 10 seconds, ISO 5000, FL 24mm).

Click or tap on image for larger version

Viewed Mars again, 443X. Seeing was not very good this night. I mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + 4X Powermate + 2X Powermate and did several 3 minutes video records (1080, 60fps) at various exposure settings This is a stack of 1089 (out of 10900 frames) at 1/250sec, ISO 5000.


2148 MST: ended D850 imaging of Mars. Viewed Mars, 443X. Mounted the iPhone 11 Pro Max on the 5.5mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk adapter and took this image using the iOS app NightCap Camera (ISO 100, 1/60sec, 1X lens). The afocal 443X image shows the distortion from the poor seeing.


I then did 10, 30, 60, 120, and 180 seconds slo-mo (240fps) video recordings, afocal 443X, using the iOS Camera app. This is a stack of 2896 video frames (out of 28960 frames).


2212 MST: ended Mars imaging. Final look at Mars, 443X and 102X.

Viewed the Moon, 102X. Then mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope. Took this image of the Moon (1/200sec, ISO 200).


2224 MST: done imaging.

2233 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Sunday, 4 October 2020, 2244 MST
Temperature: 70°F
Session Length: 2h 06m
Conditions: Clear

I will be live on the Explore Alliance Global Star Party Tuesday, 6 October, beginning at 1800 MST (0100 UTC).


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