Occultation of Mars
Posted: 18 February 2020
Open: Tuesday, 18 February 2020, 0404 MST
The occulation of Mars by the waning crescent Moon would start while the Moon was behind the hill to the east (0430 MST). I expected that the Moon would appear in time for the reappearance of Mars (0538 MST).
0410 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
Slewed to the star Antares and SYNCed the AutoStar.
Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + 2X Powermate. Focused on Antares.
0421 MST: all was in readiness for the Moon to appear.
0430 MST: occultation began. Moon was behind the hill.
0443 MST: moon began rising over the hill.
0530 MST: Stella Wi-Fi ON.
Used SkySafari 6 Pro on the iPhone 11 Pro Max to GOTO Mars. I did this because I wanted the best possible pointing at the hidden Mars since I was using a high magnication.
0532 MST: Wi-Fi OFF.
I wanted to show Earthshine in my video so I set the exposure to 1/30sec, ISO 25600. I actually started the exposure a little early because I saw what appeared to be the planet reappearing. It was actually a star. I continued the video recording.
This segment of the video shows Mars (overexposed) reappearing from behind the Moon. (It may take a while for the video to load after clicking the image.)
Click or tap on image to view video
0547 MST: viewed Mars and Earthshine, 203X. Mars had a noticeably gibbous phase.
Then viewed the crescent Moon, Earthshine, and Mars, 102X. That was a pretty sight.
0553 MST: LX600 OFF.
Close: Tuesday, 18 February 2020, 0604 MST
Session Length: 2h 00m|
After I left the observatory I took these handheld photos (cropped) of the Moon and Mars with the D850 DSLR (f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 800, and 1/60sec, ISO 6400, respectively.
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