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Comet Jacques… gotcha!

In my previous post I gave you a guide to how and where to find Comet Jacques in the sky at the moment, and I hope some of you found it useful. Thankfully, a few hours later, I was able to go out and see it myself, from a dark sky location not too far from Kendal (BIG “Thank you!!” to my observing buddy Carol Grayson, of Eddington AS, for taking Stella and I, and our EAS mate Phil, out into the Shap wilderness!) and it looked lovely…

Some images for you, to show you where it is, how big it is, how bright it is, etc.

Ok, firstly, a single frame, with no enhancement or messing about with at all, shot with my rather basic digital SLR on a tripod, fast 3200ISO setting, 50mm lens set at f2, and six second time exposure…

IMG_8684 1 frame untouched s

And here’s a “stack” of half a dozen such frames, with some processing… you’ll see the comet stands out a lot more clearly…

stack3

Can’t find it? Here, I’ll ring it for you…

stack3s

And a crop of that image, again post-“enhancement”…

crop

So, success! The comet was really easy to spot in binoculars, and photographed easily with an undriven camera too. So go on, get out there and find it! No excuses!! 🙂

It was actually a very busy night up at Shap. We all went up there hoping to see the northern lights, as there was enhanced activity which looked like it might creep far enough south to allow us to see it, and I did manage to catch a purple auroral glow with my camera, and a hint of a green arc too, low down and faint…

aurora1s

But the highlight of the night was the clarity and brightness of the Milky Way, it looked like it had been airbrushed on the sky, and I took a series of three photos of it, stitched them together with software, and after a little bit more work this is what came out the other end… click on it to enlarge it to see it in all its glory, ad to see why I’m so chuffed with it…

pano mw2 frame s

Wow… that must be the best Milky Way pic I’ve ever taken… 🙂

Thanks again to Carol for taking Stella and I out there, and to Phil Walker for his great company. Phil, we have to get you a camera of your own mate… !

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