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A Colorful Day on the Moon

Posted: 12 February 2022

Thursday, 10 February 2022, was clear and breezy. Smoke from prescribed burn operations in the mountains 100 miles east of Oracle appeared in early afternoon. As was the case since the burn operations started earlier this week, the wind was from the east, blowing the smoke towards Oracle. Unlike previous days, the smoke on Thursday was in the northern sky, as seen in this wild-angle iPhone photo.


By late afternoon the wind had calmed down and the smoke was visible in the entire sky. I did not open the observatory that night.


I took this iPhone photo (3X telephoto lens, extensive crop) of the waxing gibbous Moon high in the sky as seen through the smoke.


Friday, 11 February, was clear with no visible smoke.

Open: Friday, 11 February 2022, 1750 MST
Temperature: 81°F
Session: 1720
Conditions: Clear

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


1754 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the waxing gibbous Moon, 102X.

Then prepared the D850 DSLR for prime focus imaging. Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope. Seeing was not good this night so no high magnification imaging of the Moon was done. This image (1/100sec, ISO 100) shows the Moon in the bright blue twilight sky.


1806 MST: sunset.

This image of the Moon (1/320sec, ISO 100) was highly saturated in post-processing to show minerals on the surface of the Moon.


Blue areas have lots of iron and titanium. Brown areas have less iron and titanium.

I then took these (cropped) images of the Trapezium star cluster in M42 (Orion Nebula) and the double star Castor (in Gemini).

1/20sec, ISO 800

1/200sec, ISO 800

Unmounted the camera and viewed Castor, 102X. Then viewed M42 (Orion Nebula), 102X. Some nebulosity was visible in the bright moonlit sky.

1853 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Friday, 11 February 2022, 1900 MST
Temperature: 63°F
Session Length: 1h 10m
Conditions: Clear

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