Comets

Icy visitors from the outer reaches.

Comet Machholz C/2004 Q2: 10/01/05 - Eric Walker
Comet Machholz C/2004 Q2: 10/01/05 - Eric Walker

Late in the evening of 10 January 2005 there was a decent clear spell over Conon Bridge for a change. There was some very high altitude, faint, hazy cloud which spoilt the opportunity for capturing the comet's tails but I am quite pleased with this attempt.

Technical details are: Registax stack of 6 images processed with Adobe Photoshop CS. 4 images were 60sec, f/4.2, fl=71mm, ISO 400; 1 image was 60sec, f/4.2, fl=71mm, ISO 800; 1 image was 30sec, f/4.2, fl=71mm, ISO 800 using a Nikon Coolpix 5700 piggy-backed to my motorised EQ1 mount.

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Tails of Machholz 05/02/05 - Eric Walker
Tails of Machholz 05/02/05 - Eric Walker
Comet Machholz taken between 2100h and 2130h on Saturday 05 February 2005 looking north-west from my back-garden in Conon Bridge.

Nikon Coolpix 5700 piggy-backed onto motorised drive tripod. Four images taken at full optical zoom of 71mm for 300 secs. each, f/4.2, ISO 800. The images were stacked using Registax and processed using Adobe Photoshop CS. I had to invert, un-sharpen mask, and contrast-enhance the image to get the tails to this degree of visibility.

The comet is high up in the sky, just past the zenith and is about magnitude 5. It is easily seen with binoculars, and to the naked eye if you avert your vision slightly.

The comet is currently heading towards Camelopardalis from Cassiopeia. The stars in the image can easily be identified using star map software such as Starry Night Enthusiast by entering the observing latitude and longitude, and time of observation.

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Comet 73P-C: Schwassmann-Wachmann 29/04/06 - Eric Walker
Comet 73P-C: Schwassmann-Wachmann 29/04/06 - Eric Walker

A magnitude 8.5 comet near the constellation of Coma Bernices. This is the "main" comet fragment (C) which is very easy to observe using only binoculars. Its approximate location at the time of imaging (23:12h UT, 27.04.06) was RA: 16h 15.7m, Dec: 30.3.

Optics: Meade LX50 8" SCT with f/3.3 focal reducer

CCD Camera: Meade DSI Pro with Meade AutoStar Envisage software, unguided

Exposure: L (no UV filter): 32 images (minimum 20% quality vs reference), 5 seconds each, 160 seconds total (imaging session 328 seconds)

Image Processing: FITS Liberator in Adobe Photoshop CS, Neat Image to "smooth"

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Comet McNaught 09/01/07 - Alan Tough
Comet McNaught 09/01/07 - Alan Tough

This was Alan's last sighting of Comet McNaught. The image was taken on 9 January 2007 at 07:54 UT with a tripod-mounted EOS 300D and 75-300mm lens (set to 260mm). Exposure was 1/5 Second at f/5.6, ISO-400.
Comet 17/P Holmes 28/10/07 - Alan Tough
Comet 17/P Holmes 28/10/07 - Alan Tough

Image of Comet 17P/Holmes taken on 28th October. The image is derived from a stack of 7 x 15 Second exposures using a Canon PowerShot S45 and Sky-Watcher Pro-Series ED2 100 mm refractor.

Alan Tough
Comet Swan 28/10/06 - Alan Tough
Comet Swan 28/10/06 - Alan Tough

Taken from the SIGMA observing site on Saturday 28th October. Equipment used was a guided Canon EOS 300D with a 150mm, f2.8 telephoto lens. Six 3-minute frames were stacked to produce the final image. Note the globular cluster M13 near the top of the image too!

Alan Tough
Comet 17/P Homes 08/11/07 - Eric Walker
Comet 17/P Homes 08/11/07 - Eric Walker

Taken from Conon Bridge on 08 November 2007 at 22:00h UT.

This image was processed from only a single shot using a Canon EOS 400D digital SLR attched to a Meade 8" SCT via a f/6.3 focal reducer at prime focus.

Camera settings were 60 seconds exposure at ISO 1600. The RAW image was converted to a 16 bit TIF file and processed using Photoshop CS and NeatImage.

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Comet 17/P Holmes in Perseus Star Field 10/12/07 - Eric Walker
Comet 17/P Holmes in Perseus Star Field 10/12/07 - Eric Walker

Captured on the night of 10th Dec 2007, this shows Comet Holmes against the backdrop of the Perseus starfield. The blue haze to the left of the image is the open cluster NGC 1245.

Canon EOS400D with Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro telephoto lens. ISO 1600, f/5.0, fl=190mm. 2x60sec, 4x90sec, 3x120sec, dark frame subtracted, stacked with Registax, processed with Photoshop CS and NeatImage.

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Comet Lulin gliding past Regulus 27/02/09 - Eric Walker
Comet Lulin gliding past Regulus 27/02/09 - Eric Walker

Comet C/2007 N3 "Lulin" captured as it drifted by Regulus in Leo on the night of 27th Feb 2009. Taken from Brechin, Angus.
Comet 103p Hartley 07-08/10/10
Comet 103p Hartley 07-08/10/10

Comet 103P Hartley and the Double Cluster in Perseus. 10 sub-frames were taken between 23:46 and 00:10 UT on 2010 October 07-08. The data were processed using Photoshop 7, Noel Carboni's astronomy actions and Neat Image.

Equipment used: Sky-Watcher ED80, HEQ5 mount, Canon EOS 40D at prime focus, 0.85x Reducer-Corrector. Exposure details: 10 x 90 Seconds @ f/7.5, ISO-800. Guiding equipment: Sky-Watcher ED100, StarShoot Autoguider.

Alan
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