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iPhone Astrophotography Moon, Messier Open Star Clusters

Posted: 4 February 2022

Sunday, 30 January 2022, was clear, but I did not open the observatory that night. Clouds returned on Monday, 31 January. Rain was in the forecast so I put the Dome Cover ON. The sky began clearing mid-day on Wednesday, 2 February, with no rain here (although some light rain and sleet occurred a couple of miles east). However, the wind really picked up in the afternoon. Although the wind calmed down after sunset, I did not open the observatory that night due to the very hazy sky. Thursday, 3 February, was clear. I removed the Dome Cover that morning in anticipation of opening the observatory Thursday evening.

Open: Thursday, 3 February 2022, 1746 MST
Temperature: 57°F
Session: 1716
Conditions: Clear

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

iPhone 13 Pro Max
8X telephoto lens

After opening the observatory, I mounted the iPhone 13 Pro Max with an 8X telephoto lens on a camera tripod. I took a photo of the crescent Moon using the iOS app NightCap Camera (ISO 34, 1/400sec, 1X+8X).


1809 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed Jupiter, 102X. It was too low in the western sky for a good view.

Viewed the crescent Moon, 102X and 81X. Nice view.

Mounted the iPhone on the 2" 30mm eyepiece. Took these afocal 81X images of the Moon and Earthshine.

NightCap Camera (ISO 34, 1/400sec, 1X lens)

Camera (Night Mode, 2 seconds, 1X lens)

Viewed the Moon and Earthshine, 102X.

1844 MST: Viewed M42 (Orion Nebula), 102X. Some nebulosity was nicely visible against the twilight sky. The viewe of the Trapezium was very nice.

Viewed the double star Castor, 102X. Then viewed NGC2392 (Eskimo Nebula), 102X. Viewed M50 (open cluster), 102X and 81X.

Mounted the iPhone on the 30mm eyepiece.

1901 MST: StarLock ON.

Took this StarLock autoguided iPhone afocal 81X image of M50 using NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, ISO 8000, 1sec, 1 minute, 1X lens).


1905 MST: StarLock OFF.

1913 MST: attached my LiDAR cover to the iPhone 13 Pro Max and mounted the iPhone on the camera tripod with the 8X telephoto lens.

Took this image of M44 (Praesepe, Beehive Cluster, open star cluster) using NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 32000, 1sec, 6 seconds, 1X+8X lens).


The temperature was getting cold, so I decided to end the session.

1925 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Thursday, 3 February 2022, 1933 MST
Temperature: 37°F
Session Length: 1h 47m
Conditions: Clear

I have been testing a replacement 7-n-1 Professional Weather Station received from Explore Scientific. I will update the review once testing is completed.

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