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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Comet 103P/Hartley near M35

Mosaic of images showing Comet 103P Hartley near M35 (top image near middle), NCGC 2158 (just above M35), CR 89 (hard to see, to the left of the comet) and 1 Geminorum (brightest star). Click to embiggen for open cluster goodness.

The comet appears as multiple images as this is a stack of 3 x 60 second exposures in Global Rent a Scope GRAS 14 and stacked in Image J using Z projection of maximum intensity and a bit of contrast fiddling. Two series of exposures was made, one on the comet and one on M35, the composed images were made into a mosaic using the GIMP, with layers, and using a little bit of rotation to get the star images aligned.

The images are a bit rubbish as a) the Moon was pretty close and b) the cloud that I thought had gone away hadn't (the streamers in the comet image isn't a nebula). Later I'll try and match the background better, maybe eliminate an image from the stack to see if can get it better.

UPDATE: Rolando Ligustri does it much much better, his stunning image is here.

Chart of the region identifying objects in the above image, the rectangles show the field of view of the GRAS 14 imager (again, click to embiggen).

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