I fought clouds on Mar 27, 2020 and also two nights before that on Mar 25, 2020. The March 27th session produced this image. The image data from the 25th was not worth posting. This image, even though it is only a few minutes of exposure that I pieced together, was decent enough to post online. Better than nothing, I suppose.
I am hoping that better conditions are coming soon. I need to get a continuous set of sub-images for this comet instead of having to put together a hodgepodge of exposures taken between bouts of cloud cover.
Here is an image of a comet that is big and bright enough to make some interesting images, especially when it passes near objects like the Double Cluster. I missed the closest approach of these two due to weather and other factors, but at least I got the parting shot of them together.
A new comet is in our neighborhood passing by at a relatively close 28 million miles from Earth. It is a very long period comet that we have not seen before, but it has visited the inner solar system over 1300 years ago. However, nobody noticed it because it was probably too dim to see naked eye. It was discovered late last year by Japanese astronomer Masayuki Iwamoto.
Below is the Star-Streaks version with minimal processing. Both images were treated minimally in these first iterations of processing. There is probably room for improvement, but I doubt I’ll get much more than what I have here.
I shot this from a Bortle Red/White zone in the middle of a metro area. It was moving so fast that even 30 sec shots showed trailing. So, I went with ISO 3200 and 30 sec exposures even though it trailed a bit, which was about max for the sky conditions I had this night. I shot some 1 minute subs while trying to guide on the comet, but my DEC calibration was not working, so they showed some trailing in DEC. Plus, I was barely able to pick it up with 4 sec subs, so it was not tracking too well at that setting.
These two didn’t come out too bad, I guess. A darker location would have shown the tail better, probably and there is some hint of it here. Reports are the comet can be seen in binoculars from dark sites, which is pretty good for any comet. But, I knew from experience that when they are barely visible in binos from dark sites, binoculars are almost useless from inside a metro area, so I didn’t even try.
I finally tried my phone with the afocal camera holder and the dob I use from time to time. Yes, it works. But, the image quality is definitely poor compared to my DSLR’s.
A couple of nights later, I setup the TV-85 refractor/Canon T3 combo and took some shots. One was of the moon before the sun had set. Here it is in two versions – as taken and converted to look like a nighttime shot:
I was setting up for some deep sky and the moon made a convenient test target. Later that night, I shot some images of Comet 64P. Unfortunately, I was cut off by clouds after only 10 sub-images. I was going to just throw this out, but I managed to make an image out of the paltry amount of data, so it is not a complete loss.
Check it out:
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters