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Ring Nebula with iPhone & NightCap Camera

Posted: 23 June 2017

After installing an air conditioner inside of Cassiopeia Observatory on Thursday, 22 June 2017, I was still rather tired as sunset approached. But I decided to get in some observing anyway while the sky was mostly clear.

Open: Thursday, 22 June 2017, 1941 MST
Temperature: 87°F
Session: 1127
Conditions: Mostly clear

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 15mm eyepiece

iPhone 6s Plus

Having installed an air conditioner earlier this day, it was nice to enter a much cooler observatory. The AC was still running.

1947 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

SYNCed on the star Spica. Then viewed Jupiter, 102X. The four Galilean Moons were visible.

1956 MST: Wi-Fi ON. Did some brief tests with the iOS app ScopeBoss. 1959 MST: Wi-Fi OFF.

Clouds to the south were increasing. Saw this interesting "fish shaped" batch of clouds:


2019 MST: the clouds in the south were now decreasing. Viewed Jupiter, 163X.

2040 MST: viewed Saturn, low in the southeast, 163X. Cassini Division, cloud bands, and four moons were visible.

2047 MST: viewed M57 (Ring Nebula, planetary nebula), 163X. Then began setting up to image it using the iPhone 6s Plus.

2052 MST: terminated a Kissing Bug.

Mounted the iPhone on the 1.25" 15mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk adapter. 2103 MST: StarLock ON. This is an afocal 163X, StarLock autoguided, image of the Ring Nebula taken with the iOS app NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 8000, 1/3sec, 5 minutes exposure):


2117 MST: ended imaging. StarLock OFF.

Viewed M57 (Ring Nebula), 163X and 102X. Nice views.

2124 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Thursday, 22 June 2017, 2135 MST
Temperature: 82°F
Session Length: 1h 54m
Conditions: Mostly clear

The AC was still running when I closed the observatory. I returned to the observatory at 2240 MST and it was still running. The outside and inside temperature was 85°F. I increased the AC unit temperature to 86°F (the maximum). 0550 MST: checked the observatory again. The AC was ON. The outside and inside temperature was 75°. I will continue to monitor the air conditioner to be certain it is working as it is supposed to.

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