Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Observing in Slightly Warmer Weather

This Saturday, March 7, I set up the telescope and camera for some slightly warmer weather observing, and to show Chris' uncle, mom, and nephew some views of the moon and Jupiter. The moon was low on the horizon, so the detail wasn't all that impressive, and the moons of Jupiter were obviously just little dots. But still!

We were talking about looking through the telescope on the way home from dinner, and I was keeping an eye on the moonrise time. I knew it would be rising any minute, but Chris' uncle told me he saw it peaking up over the horizon on his drive in. He said at first he thought it was a water tower or something before realizing it was a big orange moon.

I looked outside and sure enough it was just rising behind the houses down the row. I ran to get my camera and tried to set up as fast as I could. I was still on Av mode (aperture priority) and not full manual, but I snapped a few anyway and adjusted as I went. The accidental long exposures actually turned out kinda cool with the over exposed moon looking like a rising sun.

moon that looks like sunrise
Moonrise, single frame, Canon T5i, f/10, ISO 800, 10 sec, 300mm
In the above picture, normally at 300mm for 10 sec you'd see a huge trail but since the moon was still behind the house I guess it still looks pretty round if not a little football shaped I guess.

orange moon rising over house
Single frame, Canon T5i, f/6.3, 1/30 sec, ISO 100, 300mm
orange moon 1/15 sec
Single frame, Canon T5i, f/6.3, 1/15 sec, ISO 100, 300mm
moon iso 100
A little later with the moon higher in the sky, single frame, Canon T5i, f/6.3, 1/250 sec, ISO 100, 300mm
jupiter 150x
Jupiter single frame with iPhone 6 through 6mm eyepiece and Meade 285 refractor (150x), f/2.2, 1/15 sec, ISO 32, 4mm

Visually, I could see 2 orange bands on Jupiter through the 6mm eyepiece, but in the photo I just got a fuzzy ball. This was my first time using the Carson Universal adapter on my telescope. It was easier than trying to hold it in place, and easier than using a medicine bottle, but it wasn't a walk in the park completely. The iPhone 6 is large, and while it definitely held it onto the eyepiece, attaching it bumped my telescope (more my telescope's fault than the adapter). I need to tighten up the mount or get a tracking mount or something. Jupiter is very high in the sky lately, so I hope to try again with some appropriately exposed video to see what I can get.

telescope and camera on porch
I can see the porch again!

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