New comet Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto (C/2018 V1) showing two tails. I took this right at the end of the best time for observations before the moon interfered. Unfortunately, I did not have much time to shoot it, since it didn’t rise out of the low-elevation muck until after astronomical twilight started. Oh, well… I did my best. 28 subs is not too bad.
I was at my “dark” site shooting this. Could have gone better. I had equipment problems and other issues and wasted lots of time trying to get the mount calibrated. To top it off, my dead-end road spot was invaded by duck hunters arriving before dawn to hunt. I lost about 10 subs from their vehicle headlights.
Comet 38P along with comet 46P are both peaking this fall/winter. 38P will stay relatively dim, but at least it has a tail. This image of it was just a test of the Sony IMX224 on a half-decent comet.
I really wanted to shoot it with my DSLR and I was going to, but the weather changed abruptly Saturday night late and Sunday morning was clouded out. Heck, it even rained before sunrise. I had to tear down the rig before the comet was out with the fast change in weather. Darn the bad luck!
A beautiful moon at dawn and I just couldn’t resist grabbing some images of it. I had to piece this mosaic together, since the Rising Tech Sony IMX224 cam does not have a wide enough field of view to get the whole thing in one shot.
I let the camera take sub-images for an hour for this picture. I used 8 second subs with no darks at a low gain setting of 1241 (100-5000 Range.) Still lots of hot pixels without darks, but shot noise was low so I could stack lots more sub-images than this 450 stack and still be within limits.
This data was taken in the middle of a metro area with very strong light pollution. Mag 3 is the dimmest stars you can see naked eye on most nights. Not one of my best of this object because of all the LP, but it was fun to see it build up and get better and better as the subs were added in. I should have shot darks before letting it rip on this object, but I did not think I had more than 20 minutes before the Dumb Bell went behind the trees, so I skipped doing them. Oh, well… next time!
In the meantime, I added another 97 subs to this shot from a session I did last December. Here is how that turned out:
For my wide monitor, I created this composite/combined image with the data above, a set of 50×8 sec subs and 14×180 sec ISO 1600 subs from a modified Canon DSLR:
I like this one the best. 🙂
Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters