Comets



Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy



16.01.15
2 x 10 minute images with SXVR-H18 CCD on 80mm Megrez apochromat @ F4.8









10.01.15
Crude LRGB image with SXVR-H18 CCD on 80mm Megrez apochromat @ F4.8






06.01.15
Comet Lovejoy appeared as a fuzzy green ball in Eridanus: just visible to the naked-eye despite a low Moon only 2 days past full.
Canon EOS 450D, 50mm lens @ F4, Astronomik CLS-CCD filter, 5 x 150s.







29.12.15
The comet may be spied as a small green/blue ball near tree branches to the lower right in southern Lepus.
A tricky image to obtain given the low altitude and moonlight.
Canon EOS 450D, 50mm lens @ F4, Astronomik CLS-CCD filter, 4 x 1mins







Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy



2nd January 2014  05:58 - 06:41 UTC
Comet C/2013 Lovejoy R1
SXVR-H18 CCD;  80mm Megrez apo refractor @ F4.8;
Baader UV/IR rejection filter; 8 x 5 minute exposures.






20th December 2013  05:55 - 06:42 UTC
Comet C/2013 Lovejoy R1
Strong moonlight and breezy.
SXVR-H18 CCD;  80mm Megrez apo refractor @ F4.8;
Baader UV/IR rejection filter; 5 x 5 minute exposures.









14th December 2013
Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy in Hercules
Modded Canon EOS 450D DSLR, 50mm Olympus OM lens @ F2.8.
Unguided: 19 x 10s exposures









Comet C/2011 L4 Panstarrs


On 19th March 2013, I was able to secure some images of the comet as it emerged into the twilight, only 20 degrees from the Sun.
The transparency was limited by some haze which became fog later in the night. The coma was at least 2nd magnitude with a short
dust tail emanating from it.


19.03.13  19:24 UTC  entrance to a field between Sharnbrook and Odell
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D @ f/2.8, f=50mm (81mm equivalent)
ISO 800, 2s unguided, altitude 7 degrees







19.03.13  19:28 UTC  entrance to a field between Sharnbrook and Odell
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D @ f/2.8, f=50mm (81mm equivalent)
ISO 800, 2s unguided




19.03.13  19:29 UTC  entrance to a field between Sharnbrook and Odell (star upper right is magnitude 2.06 star Alpheratz (Alpha Andromedae)
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D @ f/2.8, f=50mm (81mm equivalent)
ISO 800, 2s unguided








19.03.13  19:31 UTC  entrance to a field between Sharnbrook and Odell
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D @ f/3.5, f=135mm (219mm equivalent)
ISO 800, 4s unguided








19.03.13
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D @ f/3.5, f=135mm (219mm equivalent)
ISO 800, 6s unguided, altitude 6 degrees














30.03.13  
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D @ f/2.8, f=50mm (81mm equivalent)
ISO 800, 4s unguided















01.04.13  From a field near Keysoe, Comet Panstarrs in Andromeda
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D @ f/2.8, f=50mm (81mm equivalent)
ISO 800, 4s unguided















02.04.13  From a field near Keysoe, Comet Panstarrs in Andromeda
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D @ f/2.8, f=50mm (81mm equivalent)
ISO 800, 4s unguided







02.04.13  From a field near Keysoe, Comet Panstarrs in Andromeda
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D, f=135mm, ISO 800






03.04.13  From a field near Keysoe, Comet Panstarrs in Andromeda
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D @ f/2.8, f=50mm (81mm equivalent)
ISO 800, 6s unguided








01.06.13
Comet Panstarrs sporting an anti-tail (pointing towards the Sun)
Modified (Juan Fierros) Canon EOS 450D @ f/4, f=50mm
ISO 800, 76 x 30 secs







Comet 17P/Holmes super outburst

This innocuous comet of magnitude 16.9 suddenly brightened dramatically in late October
2007,to be plainly visible as an additional fuzzy 'star' in Perseus. At 04:30 U.T. on the
morning of 27.10.07, I estimated its magnitude as 2.65, half a million times brighter than
normal! The material ejected from the nucleus of the comet rapidly expanded and
although fainter, the comet remained relatively easily visible to the maked-eye for many
weeks. The weird thing about this comet is that it was observed to perform a similar
outburst back in 1892.


8.11.07

Both images with Orion 80mm ED Apo refractor @ F7.5 and SXV-H9 CCD, but the latter was binned 2x2.













31.10.07

   Jets of material ejected from the comet's
   nucleus revealed using a rotational gradient
   Larson-Sekanina filter of 12 degrees in
   MaxImDL software. The original image was
   a stack of 55 x 15s L filtered images with an
   Orion 80mm ED Apo refractor @ F7.5 and
   SXV-H9 CCD camera.





30.10.07

  


Above: stack of 58 x 15s L exposures through Orion 80mm ED apo refractor @ F7.5
with an SXV-H9 CCD camera.



   



Above: rotational gradient Larson-Sekanina filter applied to original image to reveal jets and faint
longer tail structures.



29.10.07



Above: stack of 26 x 15s L exposures through Orion 80mm ED apo refractor @ F7.5
with an SXV-H9 CCD camera.


 12 degrees            8 degrees

Above: rotational gradient Larson-Sekanina filter applied to original image to reveal jets.





Comet Machholz

Comet Machholz meets The Pleiades  8.1.05
This mazaic took 6 weeks to put together from nearly 200 separate 1 minute exposures. Each piece of
the mozaic was the product of 2x2 binned 5 x 1 min Luminance plus 3 x 1 minute  R, G and B exposures.
The camera used was an SXV-H9 CCD mounted on a Megrez 80 APO refractor at F3.8!


Comet Machholz on 1.1.05

Battled against wind and rain to get this one! The comet was an easy naked-eye object in Taurus.
A stack of 64 x 15s 2x2 binned Luminance exposures with my SXV-H9 CCD on the Orion 80 ED Apo
refractor @ F4.8. Colour info. R=7x15s, G=6x15s, B=5x15s. Tricky processing to eliminate star
trails due to rapid comet motion.


Animation of the ghostly green Comet Machholz in mist and moonlight 19.12.04
C/2004 Q2 Machholz: SXV-H9 CCD on Orion 80 ED Apo refractor @ F4.8


Zodiacal Light
Also just happened to capture a meteor and Mars!
This was taken from Prince Albert, South Africa before dawn.
The zodiacal light is caused by particles of dust from the tails of comets.





Comet Hale-Bopp (1997)



01.03.97
135mm F2.8 lens; 1600 Fuji Provia; 60s exposure







06.03.97   pre-dawn sky
Comet Hale-Bopp
The pseudo nucleus was about mag. 1.3 (equal to Deneb) but its integrated magnitude rivalled Vega.
The dust tail was about 2 degrees long and the fainter ion tail, 5 degrees by naked-eye.
28mm F2.5 lens on ancient Praktica Camera;  1600 ASA  Fuji Provia; approx. 1min  exposure









06.03.97
135mm F2.8 lens; 1600 ASA Fuji Provia; 2 mins exposure






20.03.97
28mm F2.5 lens; 1600 ASA Fuji Provia; 1 min






20.03.97
28mm F2.5 lens; 1600 ASA Fuji Provia; 1 min







20.03.97
0.5m Newtonian at prime focus; 1600 ASA Fuji Provia approx. 10s exposure






20.03.97
135mm F2.8 lens; 1600 Fuji Provia; 90s exposure









03.04.97
58mm F2 lens; 1600 ASA Fuji Provia; 40s exposure (two versions)







07.04.97
58mm F2 lens; 1600 Fuji Provia; 30s exposure










07.04.97
58mm F2 lens; 1600 Fuji Provia; 30s exposure









10.04.97
58mm F2 lens; 1600 ASA Fuji Provia; 12s exposure




Here are some scans of drawings and notes made in my log book, most made
using my 49cm F4.6 Newtonian reflector, some with my trusty old 10x50
binoculars:-













17.3.97


 20.3.97




















Comet Hyakutake (1996)

27th March 1996 SX mono CCD 58mm F2 lens




27th March 1996  03:50 U.T.  Drawing made of naked-eye
view with 25 degree ion tail stretching from near Polaris to
the 'bowl' of The Great Bear! What a sight!




27th March 1996  04:40 UT Photo taken rather too late into twilight!





27.03.96   04:40 UTC  (too late into twilight!)
Comet Hyakutake
The pseudo nucleus was about mag. 3 and the tail stretcvhed visually from near Polaris to almost the bowl of
the Great Bear (25 degrees: corresponding to 7,000,000 km with the comet only 15,000,000 above our North Pole)
28mm Lens on ancient Praktica Camera; 400 ASA  Ektachrome; approx. 30s exposure










10th April 1996

58mm @ F2; 400 Fuji Provia; 2 mins.







17th April 1996

210mm @ F4; 400 Fuji Provia film; 3 min exposure.



















17.04.96
Comet Hyakutake with naked-eye 4 degree tail
58mm lens @F2 on ancient Praktica Camera; 400 ASA  Fuji Provia colour reversal film;
approx. 3 mins exposure piggy-backed on 0.5m Newtonian