Thursday, November 02, 2006

Comet Swan 2006

The Comet Swan 2006

Here is the first time that I have seen and imaged a Comet!
I remember back in 1997 when the Comet Hale-Bopp was a spectacular naked eye object in the sky, something I will always remember!
Last night was the first clear night for ages, I waited early in the evening for the sky in the west to fully clear then had a go at imaging Comet Swan located in Hercules. Tried different exposures with the Toucam Pro II and ST80 short refractor telescope. The image above is probably the best I could manage, 40 exposures set at 20s frames then processed at multipoint with Registax 4 to stop the stars from streaking. Amazing to see the movement of the comet when you are taking longer exposure images - it really does move with respect to the stars! On reflection I should really have taken longer exposures, maybe one minute subs to try to capture the faint tail of Comet Swan. Tracking of the ST80 with it's EQ1 mount was almost spot-on.

Tonight it is clear again, but we also have a 90% Moon rising early which lights up the whole sky, beautiful to look at, but makes it hard to image Comet Swan.

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