November 8th, 2022, 04:37 a.m. local time
Of the several Lunar Eclipses I have observed and photographed, this may be the briefest in terms of my time commitment. The local time for the eclipse, about 4 a.m., plus being the middle of the week meant that I had to plan my schedule carefully. Fortunately, I got enough sleep and set my alarm for a reasonable 3:35. I had also placed my telescope outside about 10:30 p.m. the night prior, so that all optics were fully acclimated to the early morning temperatures (about 43 degrees Fahrenheit). I placed towels over the tube to minimize dew buildup, and started with a very dry telescope.
This was the first time I used my new iPhone 14 Pro to photograph a “dim” object. Previously, I only used the iPhone and telescope on the Full or near-Full Moon phases. This morning’s image required an ISO at 4000.
It was a bit nerve-wracking when I could see no hint of light through the iPhone’s camera app after I had mounted it to the telescope’s eyepiece. There is always some hint of light. Thankfully, I figured out that turning on “Night mode” exposed the viewable area fully.
Night mode uses a countdown (quickest is 5s) to take and then process an image. Ironically there is a message on the phone to “Hold still.” If only I could tell the Moon to stay in place! But it did not seem to matter as all the resulting captures were excellent.
This was also the first time I effectively left the phone’s photography settings on Auto, including this new “Night mode” feature. Because frankly, it took a better picture than I could manually! The final post-processed image is attached to this article.
- 127mm Mak-Cass telescope
- 23mm eyepiece
- No eyepiece filter
- iPhone 14 Pro, using “Night mode”
- Smartphone telescope eyepiece adapter
- Nightcap app on iPhone
- 1/4 sec exposure
- ISO 4000
- Focal length: 2mm
- Minor touchups in PaintShop Pro and AfterShot Pro