The Starry Night, 195

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The "Great Conjunction"

2020/12/05. The Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto all gathered in the western sky on November 19, and I'm just catching up with the imagery. What's that, you don't remember anything about Pluto being in the cast of characters? Well, it is! Or was.

Here's a deep photo made using the iOptron SkyTracker and a Canon 6D from a part of the neighborhood where the roads and trees lined up to allow a clear view. I'm going to save myself some bandwidth and link to my inaugural posting on Astrobin:



The Moon (dimmed by pinetops), Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto.
135mm F2.0 Nikkor @ F4, 21x15s, ISO 1600, Canon 6D


Yes, I do realize that you can't see all the players without viewing that frame at full-resolution, so click on the photo or on the link below and then zoom in to find Pluto:


2020/11/18: A more conventional photo of the conjunction. The Moon was almost on top of Pluto.


Saturn, Jupiter, and the Earth-lit Moon
135mm F2.0 Nikkor, Canon 6D, 4 seconds, ISO 400.



My deep-sky photos are made with a variety of sensors and optics. Deepest images come now from a ZWO ASI1600MM Cooled Pro CMOS camera. A good many images come from an unmodded Canon 6D. Video and video extracts begin in a Canon EOS M, usually running in crop mode via Magic Lantern firmware. Telescopes include an AT10RC (a remarkable budget Ritchey-Chretien astrograph), an Orion 10" F4 Newtonian, and a pair of apochromats: a TMB92SS and a AT65EDQ. A very early Astro-Physics 5" F6 gets some use, too. So do lots of camera lenses on both the ASI1600 and the Canon 6D. A solar Frankenscope made using a 4" F10 Orion achromat and the etalon, relay optics, and focuser from a Lunt 60 feeding a small ZWO camera will see more action as the Sun comes back to life. Mounts include an iOpton SkyTracker (original model), a Losmandy G11 (non-Gemino), and an Astro-Physics Mach1 CP3. Software is PixInsight for heavy lifting and Photoshop for polish.


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                   © 2020, David Cortner