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.
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).
At about 11:00 PM CST on Saturday night, Feb 25th, I decided that I’d hit Comet 41P again. This time with a longer session, more exposure and a higher ISO. These images are the results of that endeavor.
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.
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.
They say this comet will get better during March, so I’ll probably be shooting it again soon.
This is probably my last Comet Encke shot for this go-around. It is so close to the horizon at the end of astronomical twilight that it is hard to get any good data. Only if the horizon is exceptionally clear from this point forward will I attempt to shoot it again.
It still shows a nice tail, despite being in the muck at the horizon. The negative insert shows the tail the best, but it is also somewhat visible even in the positive image.
I had guiding issues for this shot, so I was not expecting much of an image from the data. But, it still came out OK despite that.
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters