Terry Lovejoy’s newest comet is in outburst and has brightened quite a bit above what was expected of it. Now, it is a really nice comet in the dawn skies. Unfortunately, it is moving fast and quickly heading lower and lower to the horizon with each morning. So, the good viewing window is short and sweet.
I had to wait for it to clear a roof and it was already after 10:30 UT (5:30 am CDT,) so I had to shoot it between the start of astronomical twilight and nautical twilight. Plus, this is from a Bortle red/white zone, so I had lots of LP to contend with. Not the best conditions, but hey, at least I got a usable image.
Taken from a Bortle Red/White zone, this image is 40 sub-images of 120 seconds each at ISO 800. This is double than what I was able to do before. The inclusion of an IDAS-LPS drop-in filter for my Canon T3 allowed this one stop of extra exposure. So, now I know how much the drop-in filter blocks, which is quite a bit.
Regardless of the above, the gradients and the color shift from removing that much LP still make processing difficult and tedious. I am glad I can drive just 30 minutes and get to a spot dark enough to be camera noise limited instead of skyfog limited. It is such a joy to process images that have low LP levels. 🙂
Here’s one I haven’t shot in a while. I was using it as a test to see how bad the LP would be. Not long after this was taken, Comet Lovejoy was in the same general area LP-wise, so I had a pretty good idea how much comet I might get.
Here’s a quickie of Comet Johnson. I took two test images before the automated run, which I ended up using. But, I was pretty tired by the time I got to this one, so I let it shoot automated while I took a nap. Unfortunately, the guiding got screwed up after only 11 sub-images and I didn’t shoot more of it after I woke up since it was near sunrise and I needed to shoot calibration data for my other stuff instead. Oh, well…
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters