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Category Archives: Comets

Comet Lovejoy - 5 Jan. 2014

Comet Lovejoy – 5 Jan.2014
(Click for a larger view and details).

Comet Lovejoy is fading, but continues to put on a good show. The shot at right was taken on Sunday morning (5 Jan. 2014).

In case you missed the news, Comet ISON did not survive its close encounter with the sun. The SOHO probe shows the comet leaving the vicinity of the sun, but no one has detected any trace of it since then.

Comet ISONFrom the same morning (11 Nov.) – Comet Lovejoy. At that time this comet was brighter than Comet ISON, though that should change shortly. Click on the image to see a larger version and see the exposure details.

Comet ISONThe much-hyped Comet ISON is starting to brighten, though it is simultaneously drawing closer to the sun, making it harder to see and photograph. Here is what it looked like this morning.

Click on the image for a large photo of a  stack of all of the frames I shot as well as a time-lapse sequence of the comet moving through the star field.

Comet Panstarrs and the Andromeda galaxy (M31)

A wet evening on April 6-7 made prospects poor for a morning showing of Comet Panstarrs, and indeed light clouds and even fog periodically interfered, but it could be seen a few minutes before the rising moon added interference.  The comet is at the top of the frame, right of center, and the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the fuzzy spot at lower right.  At the bottom left is the observatory of the Orange County Astronomers.

Comet Panstarrs was being hyped as the first good comet to pass by in a long time, so I had been anticipating its arrival.  However, because I was away on a trip,  I hadn’t seen it until last night (12 Mar. 2013).  I had looked for it previously, but poor sky conditions contributed to missing it until a good evening after I returned.  Having the moon nearby helped a lot to zero in on this somewhat disappointing comet.

Click on the image below for a larger version and additional telescopic view.

Comet Panstarrs and the young moon.

A couple more shots from September 3rd – Comet Garradd moves over to the “coat hanger” and is gradually getting brighter.

And a 2x stacked shot of the Pleiades.

These are both unremarkable,  but for the fact that they were shot on film that expired 12 years ago!

A small break in the “drought” of comets brings Comet Garradd barely into view against the summer Milky Way.

Comet Hartley in Puppis
After rounding the sun, Comet Hartley could be found receding in the southern constellation of Puppis, not far from the clusters M46 and M47, and the Seagull Nebula.

Comet 103P / Hartley in Perseus
with clusters and nebulae.

See also closeup shots and time-lapse sequence.