Ten days ago on October 15, 2013, I posted an image here on my blog that I took showing Comet ISON and how it looked at the time. Today, October 25, 2013, I want to show how Comet ISON has grown in size and brightness. Please note that all the equipment used to take the images and the image size are all the same.
My first image of the “exploding” Comet Linear. Sometime before October 20th, 2013, it is believed that the comet went from below magnitude 14 to magnitude 8.5 in an “explosive” outburst. This is reminiscent of Comet Holmes back in October of 2007. In Comet Holmes case, the comet reached naked eye visibility soon after the outburst started. C/2012 X1 is still a long way away from that level of brightness and is not expected to get anywhere close to naked eye visibility until, if the trend continues, February of 2014.
While waiting for Comet Linear to rise into position, I shot 24 minutes worth of subs of Comet Encke. ISO 400 did not go as deep as I thought it would. I’ll have to shoot this one again with higher ISO settings or longer exposures. BTW, I have another version with the stars frozen instead of streaked:
I had setup the scope to catch Comet Linear, so ISON was not really my target this time. It was in the trees most of the time. However, there was a short window where it was in the clear and I managed to get 9 minutes of data on it. Not enough for an eye-popping image but enough to document its progress since my last session with it.
In this shot, I rotated the camera to a portrait orientation and managed to fit all three objects in one frame. I was not sure I could get this to work since my scope didn’t have the clearance to have the camera in this position. But, I managed to figure out a way.