Imaging: M44, M45 and Comet Lovejoy, Jupiter
Posted: 23 January 2015
Opening the observatory was delayed due to attending a meeting of the Oracle Dark Skies Committee.
Open: Thursday, 22 January 2015, 2044 MST
Conditions: Clear, breezy
2055 MST, after swapping rechargeable batteries for the Wireless AutoStar II, I spotted Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) with the naked eye, still near M45 (Pleiades). Confirmed with the 12x70 binoculars.
2100 MST: slewed to M44 (Praesepe open star cluster) and began preparing to image it. Mounted the D7000 DSLR piggyback on the 8" LX200-ACF. Did a focus test on the star Procyon using the Gerd Neumann Bahtinov Mask. Went back to M44 and began imaging. This is a slightly cropped image, f/5.6, 1 minute, ISO 1600, FL 92mm:
2133 MST: slewed to Comet Lovejoy using the naked eye and finderscope. Began imaging the comet. This slightly cropped image shows the long ion tail and was taken using f/5.6, 5 minutes, ISO 5000, FL 92mm:
Repositioned the camera FOV to get the Pleiades as well as the comet. This slightly cropped image, f/5.6, 5 minutes, ISO 5000, FL 34mm, shows the Pleiades at the bottom and Comet Lovejoy at the upper right. The California Nebula was faintly captured in the upper left.
2222 MST: ended D7000 DSLR imaging. Slewed to Jupiter and viewed it at 83X. The four Galilean Moons were visible. Set up for iPhone afocal imaging using the MX-1 Afocal Adapter. This cropped image, afocal 222X, shows the four moons (Jupiter is overexposed):
I did some video recordings using slo-mo (120 fps on the iPhone 5s). This is a 10 second recording (1162 frames), afocal 222X, stacked using Keith's Image Stacker:
This is 10 seconds (1167 frames), afocal 444X, also stacked:
Unfortunately, a dust spot got into the last image.
I will use 444X for Friday night's triple Jovian Moon transit, if I get a chance to be in the observatory.
2249 MST: finished imaging. Took a final look at Jupiter, 83X.
Close: Thursday, 22 January 2015, 2301 MST
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