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Imaging: Crescent Venus, Rising Moon;
Time-Lapse Video: Closing the Observatory

Posted: 12 March 2017

Open: Saturday, 11 March 2017, 1658 MST
Temperature: 96°F
Session: 1083
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 9mm eyepiece
2" 9mm 100° eyepiece
2" 50mm eyepiece

D7200 DSLR
iPhone 6s Plus

I opened the observatory well before sunset in order to image the planet Venus high in the sky. I prepared the D7200 DSLR camera for eyepiece projection imaging at 271X.

1707 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1709 MST: viewed Venus, 102X. The view of the crescent phase was very nice.

Mounted the DSLR on the 12" telescope and did some HD video recordings, each 15 seconds duration, eyepiece projection 271X. This is a stack of 465 video frames, 30fps, 1/1250sec, ISO 1600:


Next, I set up the D7200 DSLR with a 150-600mm lens on the observatory patio to photograph the nearly Full Moon rising over the hill to the east:


1728 MST: did some more Venus observing, 49X and 271X. This handheld photo, taken with an iPhone 6s Plus, afocal 271X, using the iOS app NightCap Pro (ISO 25, 1/900sec) approximates the view through the eyepiece:


1812 MST: final look at Venus, 271X. Then slewed the 12" telescope to the position of the Moon, which was still behind the hill.

1819 MST: SYNCed the observatory clock to the time signal provided by WWV.

1830 MST: sunset.

1836 MST: Moon rising over the hill, D7200 DSLR, f/8, 1/500sec, ISO 400, FL 600mm:


Moon, D7200 DSLR, f/8, 1/1000sec, ISO 400, FL 600mm:


1840 MST: ended DSLR imaging. Viewed the Moon, 49X. A very slight terminator was visible.

I then set up the iPhone 6s Plus with the clip-on 8X telephoto lens:


This is a full-frame iPhone photo of the Moon using the 8X lens, NightCap Pro (ISO 200, 1/5000sec):


1856 MST: took this handheld iPhone afocal 49X photo of the nearly Full Moon (about 13 hours before precisely Full), NightCap Pro (ISO 25, 1/1500sec):


1901 MST: the breezes had calmed down now. Did some lunar observing, 271X and 102X.

I then began closing up for the night. This time-lapse video (11 seconds) shows the closing operations:

Click or tap on image to view video

Close: Saturday, 11 March 2017, 1927 MST
Temperature: 69°F
Session Length: 2h 29m
Conditions: Mostly clear

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