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Thursday, November 07, 2013

 

Comet Lovejoy and the Beehive, 6 November 2013

Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy captured on 6 November with iTelescope T14 at around 4:00 am local time in New Mexico, USA. The image is a stack of 3 x 60 second Luminance exposures. Images stacked then SUMMED using ImageJ, then contrast enhancement applied. click to embiggen. Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy captured on 6 November with iTelescope T14 at around 4:00 am local time in New Mexico, USA. The image is a stack of 10 x 60 second Luminance exposures. Images stacked then MEDIAN stacked using ImageJ, then contrast enhancement applied. The faint tail comes out nicely, and the Beehive cluster is preserved. click to embiggen.

Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy is quite the unexpected delight of the year. Already reported as 6th magnitude, it may get as bright as magnitude 5 before it is lost from southern skies, and brighter in the northern hemisphere. Currently near the iconic Beehive cluster in Cancer, it is putting on a very good show, easily making up for ISON. With careful stacking a very nice, narrow tail can be seen.You really need to embiggen the images to see them at their best

T14 is a 0.10-m f/5.0 astrograph with SBIG STL-11000M and 3.5 arc-secs/pixel


Animation made from all 10 images. Contrast enhanced to see the comet tail better. Image orientation: north is to the right, east to the top.

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