Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Comet 17P/Holmes

Comet 17P/Holmes

I mentioned a couple of days ago
that I was going to try and get a picture. I did. At ASA 1600, 30 second exposure. My battery pack ran out of juice for the telescope mount drive, so....

Click to enlarge

I may have overprocessed the picture--but ASA 1600 is a pretty grainy speed setting on film.

I've reduced the image size substantially--from about 6MB to about 800KB--but it doesn't seem to have done any real harm to the picture.

I would have taken some longer exposures, but it takes a while to recharge the battery pack (which I haven't recharged recently enough to have a full charge), and by the time it was getting to full charge, there just wasn't any way to stay warm enough outside.

Tomorrow night, I will try this again, perhaps at ASA 100, with a 25 or 30 minute exposure.

UPDATE: I suppose that I should give all the grubby details. Pentax K10D, prime focus on a Photon Instruments 5" f/9 achromatic refractor.

UPDATE 2: To find the comet (you will want binoculars), find the big W of Cassiopeia, and then take about a 30 degree line down to the eastern horizon. A bit farther than the width of the W will be several bright stars that make up Perseus. Just to the west of the brighter stars in Perseus will be a faint fuzzy. Aim your binoculars at it.

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