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Comet 45P on Feb 26, 2017

Comet 45P, Feb 26, 2017, 07:11 UT. 24×180 sec @ ISO 3200, TV-85 at F/5.6, Canon T3, Atlas EQ-G w/EQMOD.

Because of weather, I missed out on imaging Comet 45P when it was near a famous galaxy pair recently.    I finally got to image it from a relatively dark sky location on Feb 26, 2017.   There were no “famous” galaxies in the vicinity this night, but there were sure lots of faint fuzzies in the image to make it interesting.

The star freeze version above came out OK.  Not too bad.  I also did a star-streaks version and I’ve included that below.

Comet 45P on Feb 26, 2017, 07:11 UT. Star-streaks version.

Keen observers will note that there is an asteroid in the tail of Comet 45P.   It can be seen in both versions.   I’m pretty sure that is 5081 Sanguin (1976 WC1).

The Pleiades, Feb 25, 2017

The Pleiades, Feb 25, 2017. 31×300 sec @ ISO 1600, TV-85 at F/5.6, Canon T3, Atlas EQ-G w/EQMOD.

It was a beautiful evening and I just had to shoot the Pleiades (M45) from my new dark sky site.  They just looked too good from there.

I wanted see how much I could pick up with the unmodified Canon T3.  It is definitely a camera that is sensitive to blues and cyan.  It does comets and galaxies well enough.  It is not as good as a modified camera on nebulae, unless its a reflection nebula like M45.

This is about 2.58 hours of integration – about the minimum needed to bring out that faint background nebulousity I’ve always tried to get.  It is difficult to decern the true background if there are any gradients, unfortunately.  There were a some here and I tried my best to minimize them.   Towards the end of the set, M45 moved into the muck and a little LP from a small neighborhood to my northwest.  Plus, the zodiacal light was contributing a gradient, too.   It was interesting to see that, though.  🙂


Encke – Almost Gone

Comet Encke on Feb 26, 2017, 01:22 UT. 1×300 sec @ ISO 1600 and 1×300 sec @ ISO 800.

I managed to get off 2 shots on Encke before it sank too low to shoot.  One shot was 5 minutes @ ISO 1600 and the other was 5 minutes @ ISO 800.   I added the two together and it came out like you see it above.   Not great, but you can see where it stands.

Comet 41P on Feb 23, 2017

Comet 41P on Feb 23, 2017, 03:34 UT. 3×360 and 24×120 sec @ ISO 1600, TV-85 at F/5.6, Canon T3, Atlas EQ-G w/EQMOD. Star Freeze version.
Comet 41P on Feb 23, 2017, 03:34 UT. 3×360 and 24×120 sec @ ISO 1600, TV-85 at F/5.6, Canon T3, Atlas EQ-G w/EQMOD. Star Streaks version (3×360 subs as a base, Comet only from 24×120 subs.)

A different comet is out and about now.  Periodic comet 41P is coming back around and is conveniently placed in Leo and so is up most of the night.    I shot it from a darker sky location and it turned out OK, I guess.   It was a little dimmer than I expected.

I was pressed for time this session, so I went with 2 minute ISO 1600 exposures to match the darks I had already taken for another object.   It really needed a little longer exposure and more ISO.    Next time, I’ll hit it with 3 minutes and ISO 3200, which I hope will be in two days after this was posted.

Comet 41P, Feb 23, 2017, 03:34 UT. Star Streaks version with just the 24×120 sec ISO 1600 sub-images.

They say this comet will get better during March, so I’ll probably be shooting it again soon.