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iPhone Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS

Posted: 7 May 2024

Saturday, 4 May 2024, late in the afternoon the wind picked up and clouds came in. Sunday, 5 May, was cloudy and very windy. Monday, 6 May, was clear but hazy and breezy. With strong winds in the forecast for the next day, I decided to open the observatory.

Open: Monday, 6 May 2024, 1828 MST
Temperature: 84°F
Session: 1963
Conditions: Clear, hazy, breezy

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 15mm eyepiece
2" 30mm eyepiece

iPhone 15 Pro Max

1835 MST: After opening the observatory dome, I relaxed on the observatory patio bench to wait for the breezes to calm down.

1913 MST: Sunset. Calm now.

1921 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the Trapezium star cluster in Orion, 102X and 163X.

1933 MST: Back to the bench to watch the stars come out.

1946 MST: Back in the observatory I viewed the Trapezium, 163X.

Then viewed Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS (C/2023 A3), 81X. The comet's coma was faintly visible in the twilight sky.

Attached the LiDAR Cover to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Mounted the iPhone on the 2" 30mm eyepiece using the Accuview 3-Axis Smartphone Adapter.

2012 MST: StarLock ON.

Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS, StarLock autoguided, iPhone afocal 81X, NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 50000, 1sec, 1 minute, 1X lens).


Viewed the comet in a darker sky, 81X. Coma was easily seen. A short tail was visible using averted vision. Switched to the 15mm eyepiece (163X); better view with the short tail easily seen.

Mounted the iPhone on the 15mm eyepiece for this StarLock autoguided image, iPhone afocal 163X, NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 50000, 1sec, 1 minute, 1X lens).


2036 MST: StarLock OFF.

Viewed the comet, 163X and 102X.

2040 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Monday, 6 May 2024, 2052 MST
Temperature: 59°F
Session Length: 2h 24m
Conditions: Clear, hazy

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