Comets Holmes 17P (Exploding Jelly Fish)
and Comet Oukaimeden  C/2013 VS
in the morning sky
August 8, 2014

 Every comet session has its stories, and this time is no exception. The moon is nearly full, and I had exactly one hour to shoot Comet Holmes. Seeing and transparency were good, and I just got in 28 minutes L and 9 mins RGB on this comet when twilight started at 4:15. The comet is around 13 - 14th magnitude right now, and is near its peak for this apparition. Yes this is the same comet which exploded a few years back, and produced a huge 2nd magnitude cosmic jelly fish in our evening skies. No explosions this year, but this is the first time I have imaged the comet since the big event.

The top image is with the subframes summed and tracks the comet which is the greenish object in the center with a nice tail. Fortunately no bright stars crossed the comets tail here.

The second frame is the subs stacked on to the first shot, and the comet and stars appear stationary.

Finally, as the sky grew brighter, Orion was rising very low in the east, with Betelgeuse only 15 degrees up. Comet Oukaimeden which is a brighter 10th magnitude is near by. I found that I could just get half my aperture over the observatory wall and get this one. I quickly dialed in the comet, and a guide star was in the random field of the guide camera. By binning 2x2 I was able to get a color image with some depth in the poor seeing. For me, this is the first time Ive imaged this comet.

The photos:

Comet Holmes 34m total Select an image size for a larger view: 1290 x 960
Comet Holmes 34m total Select an image size for a larger view: 1290 x 960
Comet Oukaimeden 6min Total Select an image size for a larger view: 1290 x 960
Lens: 12.5" f5 Newt Platform: Astrophysics AP1200 Exposure: See photos Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 5/10, Transparency 6/10 Outside Temperature: 58F Processing Tools: Maxim DL, Photoshop CS2 HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS