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Unforecast Clouds,
iPhone Albireo Double Star

Posted: 26 June 2021

Monday, 21 June 2021, the sky was very smoky from all the wildfires in the state (none close to Oracle). I did not open the observatory that night. This image from GOES-East shows the smoke coverage.


Tuesday, 22 June, was cloudy. Wednesday, 23 June, was cloudy with some sprinkles of rain from nearby Monsoon Season thunderstorms. The sky dawned cleare on Thursday, 24 June. But as frequently happens during good monsoon seasons (which 2020 was not), cumulus clouds began appearing mid-morning. Friday, 25 June, had some cumulus clouds during the day, but the sky was mostly clear as sunset approached.

Open: Friday, 25 June 2021, 1829 MST
Temperature: 90°F
Session: 1650
Conditions: Mostly clear, breezy

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

iPhone 11 Pro Max

After opening the dome I relaxed on the observatory patio bench.

1938 MST: sunset. Calm now.

1939 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the planet Venus, 102X and 203X.

Prepared the D850 DSLR for later imaging.

Slewed the 12" telescope to the star Vega and SYNCed the AutoStar. Then I relaxed on the bench to watch the stars come out.

2005 MST: unforecast clouds were rapidly approaching from the southwest.

2016 MST: clouds taken with the iPhone 11 Pro Max Camera app (Night Mode, 3 seconds, 1X lens).


The star Spica is visible near the top center.

2024 MST: the leading edge of the clouds had reached the Zenith.

Viewed M57 (Ring Nebula), 102X and 203X.

Due to the clouds, I cancelled doing any D850 DSLR imaging.

Viewed M56 (globular cluster), M92 (globular cluster), and M13 (Great Globular Cluster in Hercules), 203X. Nice views just before the clouds began to obscure them.

Viewed the colorful double star Albireo, 203X. Took this handheld iPhone afocal 203X photo of Albireo using the iOS app NightCap Camera (ISO 1250, 1/60sec, 1X lens).


Viewed Epsilon Lyrae (the "Double Double Star"), 203X. Took this handheld iPhone afocal 203X photo of Epsilon Lyrae with NightCap Camera (ISO 5000, 1/500sec, 2X lens). Although there is some image movement the double stars are easily seen.


Viewed Epsilon Lyrae, 102X.

Clouds were now in about 3/4ths of the sky. And the eastern sky was brightening from the rising waning gibbous Moon.

2058 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Friday, 25 June 2021, 2114 MST
Temperature: 81°F
Session Length: 2h 45m
Conditions: Mostly cloudy

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