Category Archives: Comet Observation

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak in Ursa Major

Here is a view of Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak taken last evening, March 22, 2017 as it passed near the Messier objects called M97 (a planetary nebula) and M108 (galaxy).

Tech Specs: Canon 6D and Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens mounted on an iOptron ZEQ25GT mount. 22 x 120 second exposures at ISO 800 and stacked using the comet mode in DeepSkyStacker.

…Tom

Observation of Comet 53P/Van Biesbroeck – September 1, 2016

I’ve been working on observing some faint comets over the last couple weeks – still learning how to estimate magnitudes, right now all estimates are visual SWAG’s. Here is comet 53P/Van Biesbroeck passing close to the galaxy IC 1334 (magnitude 14.1). Based on data I reviewed last evening, the magnitude of this comet was supposed to around 13.7. Based on my imaging I would say the magnitude was below 14.1.

It just so happens that this comet was discovered on this exact date in 1954 by George Van Biesbroeck at Yerkes Observatory, he found it on a plate/photo taken on September 1st.

Comet 53P/Van Biesbroeck

Comet 53P/Van Biesbroeck

Tech Specs: Meade LX90 12” telescope, Antares Focal Reducer, and Canon 6D camera. 10-minutes of collected data using 15-second subs at ISO 3200, 5 darks, 5 bias, stacked in DSS.

You can find out more about this comet at the flowing links:

The SkyLive (http://theskylive.com/53p-info)

NASA JPL (http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?orb=1;sstr=53P)

Cometography (http://cometography.com/pcomets/053p.html)

Clear skies!

…Tom

Comet C/2014 W2 (PANSTARRS) Observation on August 23, 2016

Comet C/2014 W2 (PANSTARRS) is now past its peak magnitude and dimming each day as it moves to the outer reaches of the solar system, it is currently about 3.5 AU from Earth. I place the magnitude around +14.6.  It has an orbital period of over 60,000 years. This comet was discovered in 2014 by PANSTARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System).

Comet C/2014 W2 (PANSTARRS)

Comet C/2014 W2 (PANSTARRS)

I prepared two images of the comet including an animated GIF file. The animation sequence shows the comet movement after 49-minutes. The first image was collected from 2109 HRS Eastern DST on August 23, 2016. The second image data was collected from 2158 HRS Eastern DST on August 23, 2016.

Comet C/2014 W2 (PANSTARRS) animation

Comet C/2014 W2 (PANSTARRS) animation

Tech Specs: Meade LX90 12” telescope, Antares Focal Reducer, and Canon 6D camera all mounted on a Celestron CGEM-DX mount. 2-minutes of collected data using 15-second subs at ISO 3200. Stacked in DSS and refined in Corel Paintshop Pro and Adobe Lightroom. GIF animation down in Photoshop.

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-STARRS)

NASA JPL (http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?orb=1;sstr=2014+W2)

The Sky Live (http://theskylive.com/c2014w2-info)

Clear skies!

…Tom

Comet C/2016 A8 (LINEAR) Observation on August 22, 2016

Comet C/2016 A8 (LINEAR) is currently close to its maximum brightness, which is predicted to peak to about 14.0. It is also near its closest approach to Earth. It has an orbital period of 207 years, thus those humans living today will never see it again. This comet was discovered in January 2016 as part of the LINEAR Survey. LINEAR stands for Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research and is a research project to detect near-Earth objects that can threaten the Earth (see link below).

The location of the comet is in the top (photographed on August 22, 2016) black and white image, and marked with yellow lines. The reference image, below my image, was obtained from the Digitized Sky Survey. The two galaxies in the image provide a comparison for the visual magnitude.

Comet C/2016/A8 (LINEAR)

Comet C/2016/A8 (LINEAR)

Tech Specs: Meade LX90 12” telescope, Antares Focal Reducer, and Canon 6D camera all mounted on a Celestron CGEM-DX mount. 2-minutes of collected data using 15-second subs at ISO 3200. Stacked in DSS and refined in Corel Paintshop Pro and Adobe Lightroom.

Notification Telegram (http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iau/cbet/004200/CBET004245.txt)

Lincoln Laboratory (http://www.ll.mit.edu/mission/space/linear/)

Clear skies!

…Tom

The Two Tails of Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina

Yesterday I posted a short video clip of Comet Catalina passing through a section of Virgo, today I worked on stacking the sub-images into a usable image. The only way I could get the two distinct tails of this comet to show up was to invert the image and show a negative view of it.

Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina, 33 minute exposure.

Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina, 33 minute exposure.

Imaging notes: Canon 6D, Canon 400mm lens at f/5.6, 47 30-second guided exposures using an iOptron ZEQ25 mount. The time period covered was from 05:36 to 06:10 EDT on December 11, 2015.

I may have better luck using my Celestron 6″ during my next attempt. Will keep you posted.

Clear skies!

…Tom

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