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Sun AR2645; Falcon; Mercury, Moon

Posted: 3 April 2017

Thursday, 30 March 2017, was clear but very windy throughout the day and night. Strong winds continued overnight. Hit 42 MPH at Cassiopeia Observatory. Even had some brief rain (0.03") Friday morning, 31 March. I was out of town Friday and Saturday for a visit to light polluted Phoenix. Although it was mostly clear in Phoenix, some rain fell at Cassiopeia Observatory on Saturday, 1 April (0.01"). The Big Dipper was visible in the sky over the city of Phoenix Friday night but just barely, as seen in this iPhone 6s Plus photo (taken with NightCap Pro):

Mouseover or tap on image
Mouseover or tap on image for help finding the Big Dipper

The blue light beam is from a searchlight that was rotating in the northern sky.

Sunday morning, 2 April, 0852 MST: handheld photo of the Sun and Active Region 2645, Nikon D7200 DSLR with Tamron 150-600mm lens, f/6.3, 1/1600sec, ISO 800, FL 600mm:


The inset shows a magnified view of AR2645. Near the Sun's limb, rotating out of view, is AR2644.

Sunday evening just before going out to the observatory I heard a large bang against a window in my office. I looked outside and saw a bunch of feathers flying and a falcon holding a dove (who died in the window collision):

Click or tap on image for larger version

Open: Sunday, 2 April 2017, 1823 MST
Temperature: 82°F
Session: 1094
Conditions: Clear, breezy

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

iPhone 6s Plus

1828 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1832 MST: viewed the planet Mercury, 102X and 271X. Slightly less than a half-phase was visible. Mounted the iPhone 6s Plus on the 2" 9mm eyepiece for afocal 271X imaging of Mercury.

1847 MST: sunset.

Although not a great image of Mercury due its position low in the western sky, this is a cropped view from one video recording frame taking with the iPhone using NightCap Pro (ISO 32, 1/700sec):


1852 MST: viewed the near First Quarter Moon, 102X and 49X. Mounted the iPhone on the 50mm eyepiece for this afocal 49X image:


Then did some lunar observing, 271X. The crater Sacrobosco looked nice with three smaller craters on its floor. Mounted the iPhone on the 9mm eyepiece for this afocal 271X image of crater Sacrobosco (center):


1918 MST: ended lunar imaging. Did some preliminary visibility checks of some Messier Catalog objects I want to photograph. Due to the waxing Moon, none would be good targets until Full Moon. So I've deferred them until later this month.

1925 MST: Wi-Fi ON. Did some quick tests of the iOS app ScopeBoss for the developer. SYNCed the AutoStar on the star Regulus. 1928 MST: Wi-Fi OFF.

1933 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Sunday, 2 April 2017, 1942 MST
Temperature: 64°F
Session Length: 1h 19m
Conditions: Clear, breezy

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