Observatory Visitors, Nearly Full Moon
Posted: 26 March 2013
Opened the observatory on Monday, 25 March 2013, at 1805 MST, 84°F. I prepared for a visit from some locals who read my January 2013 interview in a local newspaper. There were some clouds in the western and northern skies. At 1813 MST, about 30 minutes prior to the sun setting, I viewed Jupiter at 77X and 222X. The Great Red Spot was rotating out of view.
At 1835 MST, the sun was low in the western sky when I took this photograph using an iPhone 4:
Shortly afterwards, the three guests arrived and got to enjoy the lovely sunset from my location. While waiting for the sky to get darker we discussed the local area, astronomy, and more. They had visited Kitt Peak National Observatory in the past and enjoyed seeing Kitt Peak from my driveway. After the sky was dark enough they were able to view Jupiter and the four Galilean Moons using the 8" LX200-ACF telescope at 222X. The next object was Messier M42, the Great Nebula in Orion, at 77X. Although the sky was still bright from twilight and the rising nearly full moon, they were able to see some nebulosity and the Trapezium star cluster. Time remaining for their visit was getting short so the last object viewed was the waxing gibbous moon. I added a moon filter to the eyepiece and they viewed the moon at 77X. I then switched to the 222X eyepiece and they were able to the view the terminator near the lunar south pole. They really enjoyed their visit to Cassiopeia Observatory. The clouds cooperated by providing a lovely sunset and then stayed away from the objects viewed. They left about 1955 MST.
There were clouds over much of the sky by this time. I did some lunar terminator observing at 222X. I then switched to the visual back and focal reducer, mounted the D7000 DSLR camera at prime focus, and captured this image of the moon, 1/640sec, ISO 100:
I completed imaging at 2013 MST and began preparing to close up for the night.
The observatory was closed at 2025 MST, 59°F.
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