is rapidly accelerating across the fall sky to a mid October
closest approach to the Earth. For this image, the comet was
still at 7.5th magnitude, and only dimly visible in a pair of
11x80 binoculars. Photographically things are much better, this
comet has an emerald color with a short fan tail inside a growing
coma. The field in the above images, presented with the same
data two ways is 2 degrees wide.
The comet was processed
primarily in Images Plus. This program allows me to process comet
images such that either the comet, stars or both are aligned
in the final image. The comets rapid motion across the sky is
illustrated by the top image, processed with the nucleus in register
to track the comet. The software does this automatically. The
rich Milky Way star field can be seen with plenty of star colors
brought out by the trailing process.
The lower image
was processed with the same data, and has both stars and comet
in register at the same time. This frame corresponds to the position
of the comet in the first image. Creating it was easy, the comet
and stars were combined separately in register using median.
This then was automatically aligned and merged with the first
image in the set to produce a stationary comet against a non
trailing star field.