Thursday, November 14, 2013

Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) November 14, 2013

Comet Lovejoy: 107 subs, 29 darks, 42 bias, 300mm, 1.3 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600

I heard Comet Lovejoy was showing up better than Comet ISON, and boy is it! Because Lovejoy is higher in the sky, there's a lot less atmosphere between this dirty snowball and my camera. I took these photos at 6:00am ET on the morning of November 14, 2013.

My stack of 107 light frames shows a bright coma but not much color due to the short exposure time (1.3 sec for each frame). In a longer exposure, the comet and stars form streaks across the sky, but the cool emerald color of Lovejoy's coma is very nice.

Comet Lovejoy: Single frame 8 sec, ISO 1600, f/5.6, 300mm
Looking at the individual frames, I noticed the comet is very close to a 9 magnitude star which creates the appearance of a dense point of light in the center of the coma. Sadly, the comet is all green fuzz from my perspective, but the adjacent star makes it look like it has a visible head.

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