D850 DSLR ISS & Orion;
iPhone M79, Hubble's Variable Nebula
Posted: 18 January 2020
Cloudy skies returned on Tuesday, 14 January 2020. There was some light rain (0.2") on Thursday, 16 January. The sky cleared on Friday morning, 17 January, but unforecasted clouds began arriving mid-day.
Open: Friday, 17 January 2020, 1816 MST
Conditions: Partly cloudy
1825 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
Viewed the planet Venus, 102X. The gibbous phase was very bright.
1829 MST: began watching for SpaceX Starlink satellites from the 3rd launch batch. The twilight sky was still bright (Astronomical Twilight would not end until 1908 MST). None of the satellites were predicted to be brighter than Mag. +5 this evening, and with the sky brightness and clouds along the paths of the satellites, none were seen. 1845 MST: ended Starlink watching.
I then viewed M79 (globular cluster), 102X, low in the southeastern sky.
1854 MST: took this handheld D850 DSLR photo (f/1.4, 1 second, ISO 3200, FL 50mm) of the bright International Space Station (ISS) as it crossed the sky near the constellation of Orion. The streak of light in the lower right corner is the ISS (Mag. -2.5).
1903 MST: clouds in the southern sky were getting close to M79 so I decided to image the globular cluster for my iPhone Messier Catalog Astrophotography Album even though it was still low in the sky. I mounted the iPhone 11 Pro Max on the 15mm eyepiece using the Levenhuk Smartphone Adapter.
1912 MST: StarLock ON.
I used the iOS app NightCap Camera to take this StarLock autoguided afocal 163X image (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 6400, 1 second shutter speed, 1 minute exposure) of the globular cluster M79.
Slewed the 12" telescope to NGC2261 (Hubble's Variable Nebula) and took this StarLock autoguided afocal 81X iPhone photo using NightCap Camera (Long Exposure, Light Boost, ISO 12500, 1 second shutter speed, 1 minute exposure).
1940 MST: StarLock OFF.
1946 MST: LX600 OFF.
1949 MST: took a SQM reading. There were thin clouds and the humidity was pretty high (52%).
Close: Friday, 17 January 2020, 1955 MST
Session Length: 1h 39m|
Conditions: Partly cloudy, high humidity, SQM 21.0.
The plot thickens on the issue of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation. See FCC’s Approval of SpaceX’s Starlink Mega Constellation May Have Been Unlawful.
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