HST-Moon Transit, Mars, Saturn, Lunar Crater J. Herschel,
Moon on POD Dome
Posted: 9 June 2014
Opened: Sunday, 8 June 2014, 1833 MST
Conditions: Clear, breezy
Synced observatory clock to WWV for upcoming HST-Moon transit.
1845 MST: slewed to Jupiter to focus 83X eyepiece. Then slewed to Mercury, but could not see it. The planet was lost in the bright sky.
1849 MST: Moon, 83X. 1900 MST: began preparing for the transit of the moon by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). According to CalSky.com, the transit was to occur at 193334 MST and look like this:
I mounted the D7000 DSLR at prime focus of the 8" LX200-ACF and took this photo, 1/2000sec, ISO 3200:
I added the 2X PowerMate and took this photo, 1/1000sec, ISO 3200:
I did a test HD video recording with the 2X PowerMate and decided I would use an exposure of 1/1000sec, ISO 4000 for the transit. 1914 MST: all was ready for the transit. I started the HD video recording at 193230 MST and continued it until 193430 MST to ensure I captured the transit. During post-processing of the video, the Hubble Space Telescope appeared on three frames. Here are the best two of those frames:
These are magnified images showing the HST:
I then put the telescope to sleep, removed the camera from the telescope, and temporarily closed the observatory so that I could watch the final episode of Cosmos.
Closed the observatory at 1940 MST. 2111 MST: re-opened the observatory.
2114 MST: viewed Mars, 222X. The North Polar Cap, Syrtis Major, and the South Pole shield cloud were visible. Even with 444X, the view of Mars was pretty good at times. I decided to push the imaging magnification even more than I had done in the past (666X). This night I would try 888X and 1332X, well above the maximum theoretical magnification of 400X for an 8" telescope.
This is a stack of 124 iPhone 5s slo-mo video frames (120 fps) using 888X:
This is a stack of 124 slo-mo frames, 1332X:
2132 MST: last look at Mars, 222X.
Next, viewed Saturn at 222X. Four moons were visible. Set up for iPhone imaging. This is a stack of 125 slo-mo frames, 666X:
And this is a stack of 125 slo-mo frames, 444X:
Seeing was not very good for the Mars and Saturn imaging, but the results were fairly good.
2147 MST: began some lunar observing, 444X. Crater J. Herschel looked interesting. Decided to image it. This is a single iPhone 5s afocal photo (full frame), 444X:
And this is the moon, handheld iPhone afocal 83X:
While I was observing the moon at 83X, I could see the moon being projected onto the observatory dome. I have photographed a nearly full moon (much brighter) on the dome in the past. I wondered if I could photo this night's moon. Here's the result, f/3.5, 10 seconds, ISO 2500, 18mm lens:
Then began closing for the night. No Kissing Bugs seen this night.
Closed: Sunday, 8 June 2014, 2228 MST
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