Comet Machholz
on Jan 11, 2005


For a night predicted to be terrible for astrophotography, I managed to take some decent images of Comet Machholz this evening.   There was some high wispy clouds, but also some areas where it was clear enough to take pictures.  These spots just happened to be where Comet Machholz was.

I noticed one thing right away even in the camera's small LCD screen - the ion tail was back and it was nice and long!  On the previous weekend, the ion tail was so dim it barely was visible even in exposures of 5 minutes.  

 I was able to take about forty 20 and 30 second exposures, with about half of them good enough to use.  I was at home and there is lots of light pollution in this area, so I had to keep them short.   But, stack a few of these and they make a nice image!   Check it out:


Comet Machholz on 1/11/05 sporting a much longer ion tail than in my previous session on 1/8/05.  Canon Digital Rebel, 800 ISO, 200mm F/2.8 (320mm Effective F.L.,) 8x20 seconds and 2x30 seconds.  Stacked in Photoshop by hand, dark-frame subtraction for each image and levels, color and brightness/contrast adjustments after the stack was flattened.


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