Comet Catalina US10
in the morning sky
November 22, 2015

 This is one of the very first sightings post perihelion of this new comet in the US. I had a mere 5 minutes to see and shoot this comet, as it was barely 1 - 2 degrees up in the east, just as the sky was getting very bright at 5:45 am from the coming morning twilight. Visually, this 6th magnitude object was small, round and condensed in the center with no tails visible. This was with my venerable 35mm Panoptic eyepiece and the SV80. I then quickly switched over to the camera which had been pre focused earlier and took a series of 30 second exposures to avoid overexposure. I ended up with two different images, a stack of three 30s shots each.

The comet was barely visible for the first shot, and then when I checked again a few minutes later, was lost in the blue morning twilight! I shot the second shot then, and it caught the comet anyway. The use of my manual setting circles on this old mount was crucial to finding this comet amongst the bright glow.

A slightly curved gas pointing upward, and a narrow dust fan pointing downward can be seen here, when the comet was about 1 degree up and still in a somewhat dark sky. Select an image size for a larger view: 1290 x 960
Zooming in and making a high contrast negative shows the extent of the two tails Select an image size for a larger view: 1290 x 960
Taken a few minutes later, the bright blue morning glow was washing the comet out. Select an image size for a larger view: 1290 x 960
Lens: Stellarvue SV80s f/6 - AKA "Zeiss APO" - with Televue .8x FR/CC Platform: Astrophysics AP1200 Camera: Hutech Canon XTi at ISO 400 Exposure: 1.5m RGB (30s x 3) Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 5/10, Transparency 8/10 Outside Temperature: 32F Processing Tools: Maxim DL, Photoshop CS2 HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS