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Sunday, October 19, 2014

 

Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring Edges Closer to Mars (17-18 October)

Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring amidst the rifts of the Milky Way  on 17 October (you have to click on the image and embbigen it to see the comet at all) Mars is just out of the field at bottom right, you can see the glow. Stack of 6 x 30 second luminance images taken with iTelescope T12, SUMMED in Image J.Images stacked on the comet and SUMMED in ImageJ then cropped down to show the comet (fuzzy blob centred)
Siding Spring on 18 October, the comet has come over the dust clouds, so is easier to see. Mars if now in view at the bottom of the image grossly overexposed. Stack of 2 x 30 second luminance  images taken with iTelescope T12, SUMMED in Image J. Definitely click on the image to embiggen.Images form the 18th stacked on the comet and SUMMED in ImageJ then cropped down to show the comet (fuzzy blob centred). the tail is mucg clearer now.

Tomorrow comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring comes closest to Mars.  Watched by a flotilla of spacecraft from Mars, and a batallion of amateur and professional observers.

Hopefully the weather will hold. Friday night was clear but I missed observations as I was picking up EldestOne during optimum observing time.  Tonight was cloudy, but the robot scopes at iTelescope picked up the comet for me.

Unfortunately, my kids have used up all the high speed bandwidth, so despite having heaps of pictures, downloading them takes forever. You can see my images of the comet near the butterfly cluster here.

Here's hoping tomorrow night is clearer.

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