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iPhone Astrophotography Leo Triplet of Galaxies

Posted: 17 April 2021

Clouds and strong winds returned on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, and continued until Friday evening, 16 April, when it cleared up a day ahead of the forecast.

Open: Friday, 16 April 2021, 1907 MST
Temperature: 76°F
Session: 1623
Conditions: Mostly clear

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece
1.25" 40mm eyepiece
2" 50mm eyepiece

iPhone 11 Pro Max

The sun had already set by the time I opened the observatory.

1913 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

An owl visited the observatory.


I viewed the Moon, 102X and 81X.

Mounted the iPhone 11 Pro Max on the 2" 30mm eyepiece. Took this afocal 81X photo of the Moon using the iOS app NightCap Camera (ISO 32, 1/600sec, 1X lens).


1935 MST: some clouds were still visible, as seen in this sky photo taken with the iPhone Camera app (Night Mode, 3 seconds, 1X lens), handheld. Besides the Moon and clouds there are stars and Mars in the photo.

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1941 MST: slewed to M65 (galaxy) in the Leo Triplet of Galaxies. M65 and M66 (galaxy) were visible, 81X, but NGC3628 (Sarah's Galaxy) was not yet visible.

1955 MST: NGC3628 was now faintly visible, 81X.

I then viewed the Leo Triplet at 61X and 49X. I decided to use 49X for imaging of the Leo Triplet. Mounted the iPhone on the 2" 50mm eyepiece.

2019 MST: StarLock ON.

Took 20 StarLock autoguided images of the Leo Triplet using NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 12500, 1 second, 1 minute, 1X lens). Stacked the 20 images with this result.


2044 MST: StarLock OFF.

Viewed the Leo Triplet, 102X.

2049 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Friday, 16 April 2021, 2100 MST
Temperature: 58°F
Session Length: 1h 53m
Conditions: Clear

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