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Imaging: Mars, Moon, and Venus

Posted: 1 February 2017

Open: Tuesday, 31 January 2017, 1826 MST
Temperature: 68°F
Session: 1068
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
Wired AutoStar II handset
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 50mm eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece

D7200 DSLR
iPhone 6s Plus

On my way to the observatory there was a nice view of some clouds after sunset, and high in the western sky was the grouping of Mars, the Earthlit crescent Moon, and Venus. Couldn't resist taking a photo with the D7200 DSLR, f/3.8, 1/25sec, ISO 400, FL 24mm:

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1831 MST: 12" LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Took a quick look at Venus, 102X. The view of the terminator line was very good this night.

Then viewed the crescent Moon, 102X. Switched to the 2" 50mm eyepiece (49X) for imaging the Moon with the iPhone 6s Plus. Mounted the phone on the eyepiece using the Levenhuk adapter. Using the iOS app NightCap Pro I could easily adjust the exposure for this afocal 49X image.


Changed to the 9mm 100° eyepiece (271X). This iPhone image shows Mare Nectaris:


I removed the iPhone and adapter and did some lunar observing, 271X and 102X. Noticed that a star (HD406, Mag +7) was about to be occulted so I decided to observe the occultation, 271X.

While monitoring the position of the star, I did some D7200 DSLR photography of the Mars-Moon-Venus grouping. This is a handheld D7200 DSLR, f/5.6, 1/10sec, ISO 400, FL 140mm photo (slightly cropped) showing all three:


1913 MST: the star HD406 was occulted by the Moon.

Switched to the 2" 24mm UWA eyepiece (102X), slewed the 12" telescope to the star Aldebaran, then SYNCed the AutoStar on the star.

Next I did some planning for future (after Full Moon) Deep Sky Object (DSO) astrophotography. I checked out several future targets. Viewed M50 and M67 (open star clusters) which were currently visible, 102X.

1935 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Tuesday, 31 January 2017, 1943 MST
Temperature: 55°F
Session Length: 1h 17m
Conditions: Mostly clear

I have posted my review of the iOptron SkyTracker Pro. Check it out.

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