New Year Comet Machholz


Mark Stronge
  Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland
Photo Title
New Year Comet Machholz
Time and Date taken
4th January 2005 2053UT
Equipment used
Orion ED80mm, Vixen GP mount, WinCTC, Vibration isolation pads
Capturing device used
Canon Digital Rebel 300D 6.3 Megapixel at prime focus
Technical details

ISO1600, 216 seconds. Dark frame subtracted using Registax. Image histogram stretched, automatic colour balance, contrast adjusted in Paint Shop Pro.

Below is the original frame taken as detailed above. It's only when you take this length of exposure that you see the true extent of light pollution on a clear night :-(

Even though I did do the dark frame subtract, because of the extreme processing required to remove the orange skyglow, the result becomes very noisy. You can see how the gas tail is slightly curved and has some structure to it. The dust tail is quite diffuse and extends south.

Below is an animation showing how the comet moved in the space of 1/2 hour.

Below is a different processing technique using the Comet to align on.



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