Explore Alliance Global Star Party,
iPhone Saturn, Mars, Moon
Posted: 7 October 2020
Monday, 5 October 2020, dawned with clouds and a cloudy night forecast, just in time for the closest approach of Mars to the Earth, with the next closest approach not until 2035. Tuesday, 6 October, dawned mostly cloudy, but with a clear sky forecast for Tuesday night.
I went to the observatory early to set up for my live participation on the Explore Alliance Global Star Party.
Open: Tuesday, 6 October 2020, 1659 MST
Conditions: Mostly clear
First, I SYNCed the observatory clock to WWV time signals. I then set up the iPad Pro 9.7" on the observatory patio. It would be used to stream my session live for the Global Star Party.
1717 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
1721 MST: I joined the pre-show. Here are some of the participants. That's me outside of the observatory in the upper left corner.
1800 MST: sunset (time approximate due to clouds along the western horizon).
As the sky became darker I relaxed on the observatory patio bench while listening to the guest speakers at the star party.
1912 MST: while relaxing I watched a nice bright pass of the International Space Station (ISS). As it passed near Polaris I saw a moderately bright meteor pass near (but actually 100s of miles below) the ISS.
1916 MST: Mars was rising over the hill to the east.
1918 MST: back inside the observatory and viewed Saturn using the Explore Scientific 2" 5.5mm 100° eyepiece (443X). Seeing was not very good at the time so I switched to 271X, which provided a better view.
1956 MST: moved the iPad and tripod inside the observatory and set it up to view the iPhone 11 Pro Max mounted on the Explore Scientific 2" 9mm 100° eyepiece using the Levenhuk Smartphone Adapter. I then waited to go live at the star party.
1958 MST: I was briefly live for an introduction.
While waiting to go live again I took this iPhone afocal 271X image of Saturn using the iOS app NightCap Camera (ISO 400, 1/40sec, 1X lens).
2200-2208 MST: I did my live presentation and briefly discussed how I do iPhone astrophotography. After I left the star party I began imaging Mars using the iPhone.
These images were taken afocally 271X using NightCap Camera.
ISO 32, 1/120sec, 1X lens
Stack of 921 frames, 30fps, ISO 32, 1/300sec, 30 seconds, 1X lens
2231 MST: viewed Mars, 271X and 443X. Mounted the iPhone on the 5.5mm eyepiece. Took several afocal 443X images and videos of Mars.
NightCap Camera (ISO 32, 1/250sec, 1X lens)
Stack of 921 frames, NightCap Camera (30fps, ISO 32, 1/200sec, 30 seconds, 1X lens
Stack of 2516 frames, iOS Camera (slo-mo, 240fps, 10 seconds, 1X lens
2245 MST: viewed Mars, 443X and 102X. Then viewed the waning gibbous Moon, 102X. Took this handheld iPhone image of the Moon using NightCap Camera (ISO 32, 1/1000sec, 1X lens).
2251 MST: LX600 OFF.
Close: Tuesday, 6 October 2020, 2303 MST
Session Length: 6h 04m|
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