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C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on Dec 17, 2014. 1x180 sec @ ISO 3200, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, modified Canon T3.

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on Dec 17, 2014. 20×180 sec @ ISO 3200, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, modified Canon T3.

Finally, a clear night and no trees obstructing the view!   Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) was out and easily spotted in binoculars.  I did some 3 minute exposures and they showed it as a large bright coma and a very faint tail.   The above is a  quick starfreeze processing job on the sub-images I obtained.  Below is a star streak version of the same data that shows the extent of the coma and the tail better.

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on Dec 17, 2014. 20x180 sec @ ISO 3200, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, modified Canon T3.

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on Dec 17, 2014. 20×180 sec @ ISO 3200, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, modified Canon T3.

The tail is there but very faint.  There was some smearing of the pseudo-nucleus with 3 minute exposures, but I needed to go that long to get as much of that faint tail as possible.

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on Dec 12, 2014, 08:20 UT.  41x120 sec @ ISO 1600, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modified.)

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on Dec 12, 2014, 08:20 UT. 41×120 sec @ ISO 1600, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modified.)

Well, I got my first images of Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2, but unfortunately, they were all shots that had tree branches in them.  The comet was still too low for my location at the time the shots were taken.    I have since chopped the trees down that were causing this mess, so hopefully I’ll get something better in the near future.  The above animation was all I could salvage from the images.

The Horse Head Nebula on Dec 1, 2014. 33x300 sec @ ISO 1600, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modifed.)

The Horse Head Nebula on Dec 1, 2014. 33×300 sec @ ISO 1600, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modifed.)

After the moon had set on Dec 1, 2014, I decided to let the camera and guiding run while I slept and take images of the Horse Head Nebula region.  I managed to get 33 good sub-images before the clouds messed up the tracking.

Galaxy NGC 925 on Nov 29, 2014.  18x120 sec @ ISO 3200, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modified.)

Galaxy NGC 925 on Nov 29, 2014. 18×120 sec @ ISO 3200, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modified.)

I wanted to see what this was.  It appears to be a spiral galaxy.  With just 18 sub-images, it is only barely visible.   I might come back to this one with longer exposures and 4 times as many subs to bring it out better.

M103 on Nov 30, 2014. 84x60 sec @ ISO 1600, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modified.)

M103 on Nov 30, 2014. 84×60 sec @ ISO 1600, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modified.)

A bright moon precludes imaging dim nebula or galaxies, but not open clusters.   Here’s one in Cassiopeia I’ve not imaged in quite some time, if ever.

M15 Globular Cluster on Nov 29, 2014. 32x120 sec @ ISO 800, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modifed.)14

M15 Globular Cluster on Nov 29, 2014. 32×120 sec @ ISO 800, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modifed.)

It has been so long since I imaged with the C8 I forgot how big a globular would look in it.  To satisfy my curiosity, I shot M15 at the start of my imaging session on Nov 29, 2014.   I had to crop out the distortion in the corners, so this is roughly a 60% crop of the central region.

NGC 4565 on Nov 28 & 29, 2014. 18x180 sec @ ISO 1600 plus 20x120 sec @ ISO 3200, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modified.)

NGC 4565 on Nov 28 & 29, 2014. 18×180 sec @ ISO 1600 plus 20×120 sec @ ISO 3200, C8 at F/6.3, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3 (modified.)

This is a “quickie” of one of my favorite deep sky objects, taken with my Celestron C8 SCT.  Edge-on galaxy NGC 4565 is the best example of the edge-on galaxy class in the sky.   I shot this right before sunrise when the object was just high enough to start imaging.   It could use more time and I’ll probably add to it (I did on Nov 29, 2014 – an additional 40 minutes of data.)   I’m pleased at what I have so far.  I haven’t seen it in quite some time and it was nice to image it again.

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