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Earthshine, iPhone Messier Galaxies

Posted: 4 April 2022

Open: Sunday, 3 April 2022, 1833 MST
Temperature: 82°F
Session: 1744
Conditions: Clear

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
Focal reducer
2" 30mm eyepiece
2" UHC filter

iPhone 13 Pro Max

After opening the observatory, I prepared the D850 DSLR for imaging.

1845 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1847 MST: Sunset.

Viewed the crescent Moon, 102X.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer.

1854-1915 MST: Relaxed on the observatory patio bench while waiting for the sky to get darker.

1921 MST: Imaged the Moon and Earthshine (ISO 1600, 1/250sec and 1/2sec, respectively).


1931 MST: Viewed the Moon and Earthshine, 102X.

1932 MST: High Precision ON.

Slewed to M64 (Black Eye Galaxy). The galaxy was faintly visible in the twilight sky, 102X.

Relaxed on the bench while waiting for the sky to get darker and M64 to rise higher.

2007 MST: Back inside the observatory. Nice view of M64, 102X. Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + UHC filter, focused on Arcturus, and locked the 12" primary mirror.

2018 MST: StarLock OFF.

Began imaging M64 (Black Eye Galaxy). Unfortunately, autoguiding was erratic (poor seeing?). Even short exposures were affected. I managed to get one fairly good image of M64, StarLock autoguided, 1 minute, ISO 6400, cropped, before giving up.


2042 MST: StarLock OFF.

Viewed M84 (galaxy), 102X and 81X. I decided to try iPhone afocal imaging of some Messier galaxies for my iPhone Messier Catalog photo album. Mounted the iPhone 13 Pro Max on the 2" 30mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk adapter with my LiDAR cover.

2102 MST: StarLock ON.

Although autoguiding was not always good, I was able to get these StarLock autoguided iPhone afocal 81X images using NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, 1sec, 1 minute, 1X lens).

M84 (galaxy)

M85 (galaxy)

M86 (galaxy)

M87 (galaxy)

M88 (galaxy)

M89 (galaxy)

2129 MST: StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed M89 (galaxy), 102X.

2133 MST: LX600 OFF.

2135 MST: Took a Sky Quality reading.

Close: Sunday, 3 April 2022, 2143 MST
Temperature: 59°F
Session Length: 3h 10m
Conditions: Clear, SQM 21.11

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