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
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
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.