Moon Jupiter Conjunction
Posted: 10 November 2011
I opened the observatory Wednesday, 9 November, at 1813 MST, temperature 58°F. The sky was clear but there was a slight breeze. 1825 MST: viewed Jupiter at 77X. It was too low for good seeing but 4 moons were visible. I then viewed the moon, close to Jupiter in the eastern sky, at 77X, 133X, and 206X. The moon was less than a day before Full, with only a very small terminator showing.
I used the Nikon D7000 DSLR with 70-300mm VR lens to capture this photo of the Moon and Jupiter in conjunction, f/4.8, 1/1600sec, ISO 500, FL=122mm:
Jupiter is that small dot on the right.
I then did some tests with the Meade 8x50 finderscope and a 1.25" illuminated reticle eyepiece. I wanted to see if there would be a way to attach the reticle eyepiece to the finderscope. I used the moon as a target for focusing. I removed the finderscope eyepiece (its mount unscrews from the finderscope tube) and held the reticle eyepiece to the finderscope. The eyepiece tube needed to be inserted inside the finderscope tube to approach a focus, but unfortunately, a focus could not be achieved before the illuminator barrel hit the tube. I added a 2X Barlow Lens, which helped. I could achieve a focus (with the Barlow Lens inside the tube) but the magnification was too great and the field-of-view too small (~1/2°) for a finderscope. So much for using the illuminated reticle eyepiece with the finderscope. I then wondered if there would be a way to attach the illuminator to the finderscope eyepiece. However, the finderscope eyepiece rotates for focusing and there is not enough clearance to attach the illuminator. I will have to consider getting a finderscope with an illuminated crosshair someday.
1859 MST: I returned to moon observing. I attached the iPhone 4 to the 8" LX200-ACF with the MX-1 adapter and took this photo showing the minimal terminator:
1905 MST: I went back to Jupiter and did some observing at 206X. Seeing was slightly better now. One large disturbance was visible in the NEB and the Great Red Spot was just rotating into view on the limb.
Closed the observatory at 1935 MST, 51°F.
Go to the previous report.
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