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iPhone Night Sky Photography

Posted: 23 October 2021

I attended a Volunteer Event at Oracle State Park Thursday, 21 October 2021. That evening we set up a telescope for viewing by the volunteers under a nice clear sky. They viewed the planets Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter. I received my 1000-hour volunteer pin for all the work I've done for the Park since I started the effort to have Oracle State Park designated as an IDA International Dark Sky Park in 2014.


Friday, 22 October, was cloudy, but became mostly clear as sunset approached.

Open: Friday, 22 October 2021, 1812 MST
Temperature: 72°F
Session: 1680
Conditions: Mostly clear

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

iPhone 11 Pro Max

1816 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, and then Neptune, 102X.

Viewed Jupiter and Saturn, 443X. Very nice view of Saturn.

1827 MST: relaxed on the observatory patio bench while waiting for the sky to get darker.

While laying back on the bench I took some photographs of the night sky using the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The photos were taken with the iOS Camera app (Night Mode, 10 seconds exposure, 1X lens).

Satellite passing through the Summer Triangle
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Cassiopeia and the Great Square of Pegasus
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Satellite passing through the Great Square of Pegasus

This is the view of Cassiopeia Observatory with the constellation of Cassiopeia looking down on the observatory as seen from where I was on the bench. The Double Cluster is the faint smudge about 1 o'clock from the dome between the constellations of Cassiopeia and Perseus.


1853 MST: back inside the observatory.

Viewed Jupiter, 443X and 174X.

Viewed M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) and its satellite galaxies M32 and M110, 174X. Nice views of the galaxies.

Viewed the Double Cluster (open star clusters), 174X. Both clusters were in the same field-of-view (barely).

1902 MST: the eastern sky was brightening from the rising waning gibbous Moon.

Viewed M15 (globular cluster), 174X.

Viewed Saturn, 174X and 102X.

1909 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Friday, 22 October 2021, 1918 MST
Temperature: 65°F
Session Length: 1h 06m
Conditions: Mostly clear

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