be no more spectacular sky sight than when two very different
objects pass very close to one another, and reveal their contrasting
details. On this night, the now 6th magnitude giant comet passed
over parts of the California Nebula, NGC1499 in Perseus. The
view visually was of two low surface brightness objects in the
same binocular field sweeping past one another against a brilliant
winter Milkyway field.
Note that the outer
halo of this comet is very distinct from the inner core, and
the very dim non stellar nucleus can just be seen off center
in the coma.
Two adjacent series
of images were taken of this field, since the SV80s did not have
enough field with the DSLR to cover this pair. The panorama you
see here is the combined result of all 12 frames.