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Smoky Sky, iPhone Globular Clusters

Posted: 16 June 2022

Smoke from the Contreras Fire wildfire south of Kitt Peak National Observatory (65 miles to the southwest of Cassiopeia Observatory) was visible in a lot of the sky mid-day Wednesday, 15 June 2022. This photo was from the highway heading northeast towards Oracle.


By late afternoon smoke was only visible along the western horizon. The Kitt Peak webcams clearly show the smoke near the mountain. Kitt Peak National Observatory was evacuated at 1645 MST. This webcam photo from 13 June shows the fire.


Open: Wednesday, 15 June 2022, 1906 MST
Temperature: 91°F
Session: 1780
Conditions: Clear, smoky

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 15mm eyepiece

iPhone 13 Pro Max

1913-1924 MST: Relaxed on the observatory patio bench while waiting for sunset.

1925 MST: Smoke from the Contreras Fire, taken with the iPhone 13 Pro Max.


1935 MST: Setting Sun taken with the D850 DSLR (f/11, 1/2500sec, ISO 400, FL 300mm).


1936 MST: Sunset.

1940-2030 MST: Relaxed on the bench to watch the stars come out.

2031 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF.

Viewed M10 (globular cluster), 102X and 163X. SYNCed on M10.

Viewed M4 (globular cluster), 163X. Began waiting for it to rise a little higher.

2046 MST: Viewed the following globular clusters using 12x50 binoculars: Omega Centauri, M4, and M13 (Great Globular Cluster in Hercules).

Attached the LiDAR Cover to the iPhone 13 Pro Max and mounted the iPhone on the 15mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk adapter.

2103 MST: StarLock ON.

Imaged the following Messier Catalog globular clusters with the iPhone using NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO32000/16000, 1sec, 1 minute, 1X lens), StarLock autoguided.




2128 MST: StarLock OFF.

Viewed M12 (globular cluster), 163X and 102X.

2132 MST: Eastern sky brightening from rising waning Moon.

2134 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Wednesday, 15 June 2022, 2142 MST
Temperature: 77°F
Session Length: 2h 36m
Conditions: Clear

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