Comet Siding Spring Meets Mars

C/2013 A1/Mars Encounter, Oct 19, 2014. 10 x 180 sec @ ISO 1600, 20 x 60 sec @ ISO 6400, TV-85 at F/5.6, IDAS-LPS, Modified Canon T3.
C/2013 A1/Mars Encounter, Oct 19, 2014. 10 x 180 sec @ ISO 1600, 20 x 60 sec @ ISO 6400, TV-85 at F/5.6, IDAS-LPS, Modified Canon T3.

Update October 20, 2014:  The above image is an update with more time added.  Compare it to the image below which was made with only 20 minutes of data shot at ISO 6400 (20×60 sec sub-images.)  I took an additional 30 minutes of 3 minute sub-images at ISO 1600 and added it in, so the combined total is 50 minutes.

siding_spring-20x60-6400-85f5_6
Comet Siding Spring and Mars. 20×60 sec @ ISO 1600, TV-85 at F/5.6, IDAS-LPS, Modified Canon T3.

Well, the big comet encounter of the year took place tonight, Oct 19, 2014 and Mars and Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) both survived.  LoL.   Seriously, it was a very close encounter if you had darkness when it was closest.  Here in southern Louisiana, it took place during daylight, so I had to catch it after closest approach as C/2013 A1 was bidding Mars farewell.

I had a strange night with some issues, but I managed to get some decent data and also lucked out with some good weather for this event.  This image is from the first set of images I took and it is a composite of comet-only processed and star background processed image stacks.  The comet moved a good distance in the twenty-five minutes it took to get the sub-frames, so I had to isolate it with different alignment and stacking techniques than I use for normal deep-sky images.

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