Lunar Crater Pythagoras
Posted: 25 March 2013
The observatory was opened Sunday, 24 March 2013, at 1832 MST, 74°F. The sky was clear, with a slight breeze blowing. Before starting to observe, I saw two Harris's Hawks soaring near the moon. A few minutes after sunset I was able to get this photo:
At 1847 MST, began observing the moon, 77X. I switched to the 2" 9mm 100° eyepiece (222X) and did some more lunar observing. Although seeing was not good, crater Pythagoras looked impressive.
While at the moon with the 9mm eyepiece I locked the telescope focus. I then connected the iPhone 4 to the 8" LX200-ACF telescope using the SkyWire cable and slewed to Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) using SkySafari Pro. At 1855 MST, the trees were already a problem. It wasn't until 1929 MST that I might have sighted the comet at 222X. I could see a fuzzy object but tree limbs and the comet's low altitude prevented confirmation. I gave up at 1937 MST.
Slewed to Jupiter and viewed it and the 4 Galilean Moons at 222X. A nice white spot was visible in the South Equatorial Belt approaching the central meridian. Then returned to the moon for some more lunar observing at 222X.
At 1953 MST, I began setting up for lunar imaging with the D7000 DSLR. Added the focal reducer and switched to the visual back. Got this (cropped) image of the waxing gibbous moon at 1/400sec, ISO 100:
I then removed the focal reducer and added a 2X Barlow Lens for this "Hat Trick", ISO 100, (cropped) image of the crater Pythagoras:
Completed imaging at 2011 MST. Took a quick look at M42, the Great Nebula in Orion, 77X. Still a nice view even with the bright moonlit sky.
Closed the observatory at 2027 MST, 55°F.
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