Comet Kushida Bright comet in The Hyades

Uploaded 2/2/09

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 This comet is currently around 10th magnitude and moving about a degree per day. The brilliant star Aldebaran marks the eye of Taurus the Bull, while the huge open cluster that occupies most of this image is called the Hyades which is one of the very closest clusters to our solar system. At 0.5 magnitude its combined light is one of the very brightest as well, spanning a huge 330 arc minutes in size.

On this night, the comet is perfectly centered on the cluster, and the comet is near peak brightness. We were very fortunate to be able to plan this shot in advance and then have the chance to image it, despite strong gusts of wind during the exposures.

The comets strong green hue is from the excited carbon and nitrogen molecules in the form of Cyanogen glowing from the impact of the solar radation.

Lens: Canon 100-400L at 100 mm f/5.6 Platform: Astrophysics AP1200 (Piggyback on 12.5") Camera: Hutech Modified Canon XTi @ ISO800 Exposure: 12 x 5m Filters: UV Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 4/10, Transparency 9/10 Outside Temperature: 40F Processing Tools: Photoshop CS2, Maxim DSLR HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS