Category Archives: Comets

Comet Leonard on Jan 4th, 2022

Comet Leonard on Jan 4, 2022, 00:33 UT (Jan 3, 2022, 6:33 PM CST.) 9×120 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
Comet Leonard on Jan 4, 2022, 00:33 UT (Jan 3, 2022, 6:33 PM CST.) 9×120 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8. Jet trails intact.

I managed to get some images of Comet Leonard (C/2021 A1) despite it being just under 7 degrees above the horizon at the start of the sequence. Twilight, haze layers, clouds, air traffic, light pollution and atmospheric turbulence were some of the obstacles I had to overcome.  Oh, and huge flocks of geese were flying through the field, too!   lol

Luckily, the comet was not moving much relative to the stars, so the processing was not too difficult. Exposure was 9×120 seconds. I took 24 shots, but many were in strong twilight or had multiple jets crisscrossing over the comet and ruining the view. Some were when the comet was below 4 degrees and the guiding was horrible due to turbulence.

C/2021 A1 (Leonard) on Dec 23, 2021

Dec 23, 2021, 00:26-01:00 UT – Star Streaks version. 33×60 sec, QHY183c at -20C, gain 20, offset 50, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8. Semi-dark location (Bortle 4,) clear and above average transparency.
Dec 23, 2021, 00:26-01:00 UT – Star Freeze version. 33×60 sec, QHY183c at -20C, gain 20, offset 50, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8. Semi-dark location (Bortle 4,) clear and above average transparency.

My, my… what a difference a day makes.
I was hoping Comet Leonard (C/2021 A1) would keep the show going, but it looks like the outburst it had for the past few days is over with, at least for the time being.

After Comet Leonard set, I was interested how another comet nearby would look, so shot 21 minutes worth of subs to take a peek:

Comet 19/P (Borrelly) on Dec 23,2021, 01:15 UT. 21×60 sec, Gain 20, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.

 

COMET LEONARD (C/2021 A1) on Dec 21, 2021 (Dec 22, 2021 00:30 UT)

C/2021 A1. 12×120 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
C/2021 A1. 12×120 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UV/IR filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8. Star-Streaks version.
C/2021 A1. 1×15 sec, Canon T3, IDAS-LPS filter, Sigma 28-70 at 53mm, F/4.
C/2021 A1. 1×15 sec, Canon T3, IDAS-LPS filter, Sigma 28-70 at 53mm, F/4.

Finally got some clear weather to image Comet Leonard again. It had been 20 days of clouds and poor conditions.  A day or two before this night, it was announced that the comet was in outburst and had gotten significantly brighter.   I was lucky to have the weather clear up just in time for me to catch it while it was still in outburst and displaying a dazzling tail!

Oh, here’s further work I did with those 15sec tripod mounted shots below.  I was able to get 9 of the better ones to stack in IRIS and created this image showing the tail length better.

Comet Leonard, Dec 22, 2021, 00:30 UT. 9×15 sec @ ISO 1600, Canon T3, IDAS-LPS, Sigma 28-70 zoom at 53mm, F/4.

Comet Leonard (C/2021 A1)

C/2021 A1 (Leonard) on Nov 29, 2021. 37×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
C/2021 A1 (Leonard) on Nov 29, 2021. 37×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.

Comet Leonard is getting bigger and brighter.   First clear weather since the lunar eclipse allowed me to get some new data on this guy.

I made a quick comparison image to show the size of the comet compared to the moon (simulated):

Comet Leonard and The Moon Size Comparison

The Lunar Eclipse of Nov 19, 2021

The Lunar Eclipse, Nov 19, 2021. 2 sec, QHY183c, Gain 18, Offset 50, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60D.
The Lunar Eclipse, Nov 19, 2021. 2 sec, QHY183c, Gain 18, Offset 50, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60D.

The lunar eclipse of Nov 19, 2019 was pretty good, considering it was only partial.   I started imaging at 1:00 and didn’t stop until dawn.    The two best images are above.  The sequence below is exactly how they came out live in the field, so to speak.


BONUS:

Two comets, C/2021 A1 and 67P,  just a quick look to see their progress from the last time.  67P appears to have faded a little and C/2021 A1 has gotten brighter.

Imaging Session on Nov 13/14, 2021

The Moon on Nov 13, 2021. QHY183c, AT60ED at F/4.8.
The Pleiades. 35×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
The Andromeda Galaxy. 50×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Star Streaks Version. 40×180 sec (comet, 20×180 sec background), Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Star Freeze Version. 40×180 sec (comet, 20×180 sec background), Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
C/2021-A1 (Leonard). 24×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8.
C/2021-A1 (Leonard). 24×180 sec, Gain 11, Offset 50, QHY183c at -20C, UHC-S filter, Astro-Tech AT60ED at F/4.8. Star Freeze version.

Great weather and very transparent skies for this session.  I started out with the goal of getting two comets, but since they didn’t get into position until later, I started off with the Moon, then M45 and M31.  I also shot Pickering’s Triangle, part of the Veil Nebula complex, but didn’t get enough subs to do it any justice.

The comets were small, but interesting with long tails instead of being just puff balls.    67P has a really long tail in images taken by others.  I was glad to get as much as I got shooting from the middle of town with all the LP.

Comet Erasmus (C/2020 S3) on Nov 22, 2020

Comet Erasmus (C/2020 S3) on Nov 22, 2020, 4:50 AM to 5:40 AM. 50×60 sec sub-images captured in SharpCap 3.2, QHY183c at -20C cooling, Gain 20, Offset 200, Optolong L-eNhance filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6, dark, flat, bias calibration, Metro area, Bortle 7-8 zone, clear and average transparency, seeing was poor for comet elevation (under 12 degrees.)  Star-Freeze version.

Comet Erasmus (C/2020 S3) on Nov 22, 2020, 4:50 AM to 5:40 AM. 50×60 sec sub-images captured in SharpCap 3.2, QHY183c at -20C cooling, Gain 20, Offset 200, Optolong L-eNhance filter, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6, dark, flat, bias calibration, Metro area, Bortle 7-8 zone, clear and average transparency, seeing was poor for comet elevation (under 12 degrees.)

New comet discovered in September, 2020 in the morning sky at twilight.  Very low and very hard to image from the metro area I’m in.  I used an Optolong L-eNhance filter, which helped beat back the terrible LP I had to image through when it was less than 12 degrees above the horizon.

 

Comet Close Approach – ATLAS (C/2020 M3 (ATLAS))

C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) on Nov 13, 2020 or 1 day before closest approach. 27×60 sec subs stacked and blended into a background o 30 minutes with 30 sec sub-images.

A very dark sky would have made quite a difference for this comet, but to me it is almost too small to be worthy of a trip to the boonies just for this guy.    A runt comet.  lol

This was taken from a Bortle 7-8 zone in a Metro area  with the Optolong L-eNhance filter, my QHY183c camera and Televue TV-85 telescope.

It was moving very fast and exposures of two minutes showed slight trailing.   I made a star-streaks version with some 3×5 minute simulated exposures and 4×3 minute simulated exposures.   The actual sub-images were 30 seconds and SharpCap was used to LiveStack the simulated exposures.   Here it is below:

C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) on Nov 13, 2020. 3x5min and 4x3min simulated exposures.

This was taken before the 1st image, so you can see how far that sucker moved in the intervening time.