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Comet Lovejoy

Discussion in 'Astrophotography' started by MadMarco, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    These are my first images of Comet Lovejoy taken last night. The conditions were far from ideal, it's nearly a full moon. Hopefully in about 2 weeks time we'll get some clear weather, by which time you should be able to see a lot more detail.

    16034132480_7e693a3c77_b.

    There is also an animation of 30x 30 second frames taken over 15 minutes showing the movement against the background of the stars. I can't figure out how to embed it, so here is the link:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/129499922@N08/16034879169/in/set-72157649582914157/
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
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  2. georgian82

    georgian82 Mu-43 Regular

    119
    Jan 17, 2014
    Hi MadMarco. Awesome picture! Did you take this with your 71mm refractor and astrotrac? What settings did you use?

    Thanks for sharing info on the equipment used!
     
  3. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    Hi Georgian,

    Yes this was taken with the ZS71 on the Astrotrac.

    The ZS71 is f/5.9 418mm focal length and the photos were taken at ISO400 for 30 seconds, there are 30 frames stacked in Deep Sky Stacker. Because of the movement of the comet relative to the stars; I had to stack twice, once with the stars as reference and once with the comet as reference, then a bit of blending to get the finished image.

    The video is the same 30 frames as the image, just played one after the other.
     
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  4. georgian82

    georgian82 Mu-43 Regular

    119
    Jan 17, 2014
    Pretty amazing. Thanks again for sharing that info.

    Cheers
     
  5. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    Forgot to mention; always process RAW, shooting jpeg really doesn't work for stacking, do all the image manipulation and noise reduction after the stacking.
     
  6. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Very nice. Similar to my what I saw in my reflector, but more green. Nice work.
     
  7. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    This is a new stack of Comet Lovejoy consisting of 90x 30 second exposures for a total time of 45 minutes.

    I've processed it to be able to see the gas ion tail, hence the star trails. The light pollution and seeing conditions were quite poor, but I was please to be able to make it out. From the hubble site:

    "A gas ion tail forms when ultraviolet sunlight rips one or more electrons from gas atoms in the coma, making them into ions (a process called ionization). The solar wind then carries these ions straight outward away from the Sun."

    16306152746_82a76e8c94_b.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
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