5/17/2022

Sunday was a good day. Wrote for the fortean website and figured I did a passable job with the write-ups. Sat on the front porch and saw how the skies were clearing up, a hopeful sign since there was going to be a lunar eclipse at 12:12 a.m. Limped around the backyard in hopes of finding a sweet spot for observation, putzed around on the computer, then busied myself with unpacking and assembling my telescope.
One doesn't need a telescope to observe a lunar eclipse since it's visible to the naked eye. The telescope is for snapping photos of the event. When one photographs the moon without telephoto lenses and other accoutremants the moon often looks like a very bright dot in the sky. Through a telescope all the maria, craters, and other features will be captured in the photo and I wanted to get my own images of this event.
Skies continued to be clear into the evening, I parked myself by the telescope and awaited moonrise. Turns out the backyard was not a good viewing location for the eclipse since the moon rose closer to the southeast than east necessitating my relocation to the driveway in front of the house. I was a little concerned since I live in the 'hood but it's a safe and quiet neighborhood. Also I got to watch the fat goth chick across the street have people come and go to her place. In my opinion they're shady characters and I'm glad they paid me no mind sitting out in the middle of the night beside a telescope.
a photograph of the cell phone adapter for my telescope enabling me to engage in ghetto astrophotographyBeing New Jersey the weather was humid and I don't believe my telescope had enough time to acclimate to the temperature. Having been in storage, the air in my telescope was cooler than the outside air causing water to condense on the telescope and the objective, the lens at the front end of a refracting telescope. I didn't wipe off the condensation because it'd screw up the coating on the objective and ruin my telescope. I can get the objective cleaned to avoid any damage but so far everything seems to be in order. What made my astrophotography venture feasible is this gadget I purchased years ago which attaches to a telescope's eyepiece and holds a smartphone lens up to the eyepiece. It's kinda ghetto but it works. From my astronomy club days I recall people had DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex) with mounts for their camera affording them access to more settings than are available with a stock smartphone camera. Fortunately I bought another camera app for my phone called Camera FV-5 that brings me a bit closer to having access to a DSLR.
My telescope, for those of you keeping track, is a 80mm refractor I acquired back in 2003 while living in Colorado. During the pandemic I did buy a bunch of eyepieces and lenses but only wound up using a 13mm Plossl. When the lunar eclipse reached totality I switched to a 8mm Plossl in hopes of pulling in more light for the camera except I had to remove the smartphone adapter, swap eyepieces, try to aim the smartphone adapter to the eyepiece then find the darkened moon in the sky again. By this time I figured I was done and stopped taking photos.

Took a bunch of photos but only 13 made the cut.

a photograph of my telescope in front of a rising full moon taken before the lunar eclipse of may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
a photo of the progress of a lunar eclipse taken may 16th 2022
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