ISON and Spica From the 
Balcony observing location 
November 18, 2013

 There are times during a full moon when you must get out and do some imaging. As comet ISON races toward its destiny on the 28th of November, I can still get it for about half an hour in the east before the start of morning twilight with the 80mm astrograph on the balcony. The full moon made for a very deep blue sky and had to be subtracted out before any real tail was to be seen in this image. Signal to noise was very low indeed! The comet has over a full field now of tail, and it shows some bifurcation and disconnection events. Spica is the brilliant star to the upper right. The comet was around mag 6 during this session, and the tail is still ultra faint. With the bright moonlight, it was certainly not naked eye by any means, and only the head was faintly seen in binoculars.
ISON - this is a 21 minute total integration time with the Canon Xti at ISO 400. Frames were averaged due to an extremely high background brightness. Select an image size for a larger view: 1290 x 960
Lens: 80mm f/6 Stellarvue / Zeiss APO with TV.8x FR Platform: Televue GEM Exposure: 21m = 21 x 1m Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 7/10, Transparency 8/10 Outside Temperature: 40F Processing Tools: Maxim DL, Photoshop CS2 HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS