Saturn, New Accessory Tests, Heart & Soul Nebulae, Pleiades, Mars
Posted: 16 October 2020
Thursday, 15 October 2020, was partly cloudy. However, by late afternoon most of the clouds were gone.
Open: Thursday, 15 October 2020, 1810 MST
Conditions: Mostly clear
1815 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
Viewed Jupiter and 4 moons, 102X and 443X. Viewed Saturn and 2 moons, 443X.
Relaxed on the observatory patio bench for a few minutes. As I was stepping out of the observatory I briefly saw a bobcat about 25' away walking away from the observatory.
1833 MST: Mars was rising above the hill to the east.
1835 MST: back inside the observatory. Mounted the iPhone on the 2" 5.5mm eyepiece and did some slo-mo, 240fps, 30 second video recordings of Saturn, afocal 443X. This is a stacked image (7325 frames using Lynkeos with wavelets).
1848-1910 MST: relaxed on the bench.
I then did some deep sky object observing using the Starizona Filter Slider System with a 1.25" 26mm eyepiece attached. Viewed the following, 94X using various filters:
NGC7293 (Helix Nebula): best with UHC, nothing with HA, faintly visible with OIII and H-Beta
M57 (Ring Nebula): best with UHC, nothing with HA, good with OIII, dimmer with H-Beta
M8 (Lagoon Nebula): best with UHC, nothing with HA, dim with OIII, dim with H-Beta
M20 (Trifid Nebula): best with UHC, nothing with HA, dim with OIII, dim with H-Beta
For visual use the UHC filter is best.
1951 MST: began preparing for piggyback imaging using the D7200 DSLR with 70-300mm lens and a new accessory. Removed a finderscope and mounted the D7200 DSLR on the 12" telescope using the ScopeStuff Camera Adapter.
Did some StarLock autoguided imaging of the Heart and Soul Nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia. This is an f/4.8, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, FL 135mm image.
Mouseover or tap on image for labels
Other images will be shown on my upcoming accessory review.
2057 MST: viewed Mars, 102X and 443X.
Mounted the iPhone on the 5.5mm eyepiece and did slo-mo, 240fps, 30 second video recordings of Mars, afocal 443X. This is a stacked image (7299 frames using Lynkeos with wavelets).
Slewed to M45 (the Pleiades). I then noticed a blue light shining into the northern sky. This is an iPhone photo of it.
The light beam was visible up to about 45° above the northern horizon. I do not know if it was a Halloween decoration, but it was definitely a source of Light Pollution. I will continue to monitor it and try to determine its source on a future session.
2148-2200 MST: briefly relaxed on the bench.
Then did some piggyback imaging of M45 (Pleiades) using the D7200 DSLR. This one is f/5.6, 5 minutes, ISO 6400, FL 300mm, cropped.
2239 MST: the light beam was off.
2304 MST: LX600 OFF.
2311 MST: did a Sky Quality reading and reported the result to Globe at Night.
Close: Thursday, 15 October 2020, 2320 MST
Session Length: 5h 10m|
Conditions: Clear, SQM 21.18
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