Oct 082011

We have had several nights with absolutely beautiful skies, which of course means there must be some interference.  Wednesday night the Moon was only a week from being full so I spent the evening covering a couple of bright comets.  

”]Comet Garradd is currently in Hercules and is nearing my tree blocked western horizon during the early evening so I started with it.  I still haven’t tried to view it with binoculars, but it was easy to see in the 6″ newtonian at the Topsail Hill event last Thursday.  With a bright star in the FOV, I kept the exposures to only 5 seconds limiting any camera blooming.  The star ended up cropped out of the final image so I could have gone deeper for each exposure.

Comet Gehrels is currently approaching the ‘Circlet of Pisces’.  On Wednesday it was on the opposite side of the meridian than Garradd and the image shows some sky glow from the much nearer moon.  Also visible in the image as fuzzy smudges, right and slightly below the comet, are galaxies NGC 7731 and NGC 7732.  Motion in this image is from upper right to lower left.
 Posted by at 18:24

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