July 9th, 2022, 10:02 p.m. local time
After nearly a week of bad cloudy skies, today was as clear as could be, with the forecast looking even better over the coming week. Enter a wonderful opportunity to observe the Moon and take photographs with my big Dobsonian telescope.
It must have been the conditions of the night, with the sky so empty, that made this bright Moon, well, bright. Brighter than I can recall in recent memory. So bright, even at the 75% illumination Waxing Gibbous phase, that I had to dial the camera exposure all the way down to 1/3300 second, a record at least for 2022. How bright will the next full Moon be in a few days?
I cropped today's image sideways, lengthwise up and down, instead of my normal 4x6 horizontal portrait, just to try something different.
The Star Walk 2 app on my iPhone had alerted me twice of ISS flyovers. One came right as I was putting away the Dobsonian. I hurried to set up my iPhone on tripod, to attempt a picture of the flyover with NightCap's ISS mode. However, either I was too slow or it was a false alarm, because I saw no evidence of the ISS over about 20 minutes.
I checked NASA's website and saw the upcoming ISS windows for my area. Another was going to happen in the NNE in about 90 minutes. I thought I was prepared for this one, but I missed it by about, literally, 30 seconds. I saw the end of the flyover just as the ISS was disappearing, so no photo to share.
Not sure what the problem was, but it seems to be several factors, including bad Star Walk 2 alerts (has happened before), and my calculations on flyover time being about five minutes off.
Monday evening, July 11th, looks to have a nice long and high ISS flyover, 71 degrees from South to North. With a clear forecast and proper time management, I hope to see and photograph that one.
- 254mm Dobsonian telescope (homemade)
- 23mm eyepiece
- No eyepiece filter
- iPhone XS
- Smartphone telescope eyepiece adapter
- Nightcap app on iPhone
- 1/3300 sec exposure
- ISO 24
- Focal length: 4mm
- Touchups in PaintShop Pro and AfterShot Pro