Comets

Comets that I have imaged:

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Johnson C/2015 V2 in May 2017

Comet Johnson; Click image for higher resolution

The comet was imaged on 16th May 2017 at 03.47 UT. I estimated the comet visually as 8th magnitude. The star just to the bottom-left is 9.8 mag HIP 74937. It lies in Bootes, moving south-west.

Taken with a DSLR camera with a 200 mm lens. 12x20 s exposures. North is to the bottom-left in the cropped field (1.1° wide).


252P/LINEAR in April 2016

Comet linear; Click image for higher resolution

The comet was a large (ghostly) glow, 83' SW of the globular cluster M14 in Ophiuchus. Taken on 5th April 2016 at 08.58 UT.

Taken with a DSLR on a 106 mm refractor at f/5. 8x15 second exposures. Cropped. The sky was slightly hazy and bright with reflected snow from the ground. Temp -6°C.


Catalina C/2013 US10 in January 2016

Comet catalina; Click image for higher resolution

Taken on 11th January 2016 at 07.01 UT. The comet was a 6th mag object in Canes Venatici, on the border of Boötes.

Taken with a DSLR on a 85 mm refractor at f/7 (no field-flattener was employed). 8x20 second exposures. The target was near the edge of the frame. North is towards the upper-left and the field is about 90' wide, cropped.


Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 in January 2015

Comet lovejoy; Click image for higher resolution Comet lovejoy; Click image for higher resolution Comet lovejoy; Click image for higher resolution

Left: The comet on 10th January 2015 at 00.42 UT. The comet was a 4th mag object in southern Taurus. 10x20 second exposures. The comet is 38' from the bright star adjacent at the 5 o'clock position. Cropped. 200mm lens.

Middle: On 14th January 2015 at 00:47 UT. The image was processed to bring out the faint tail (P.A. measured at 71°), the dark area around the coma is an artifact of this processing. 6x20 second exposures. Cropped. 200 mm lens.

Right: On 20th January 2015 at 00:04 UT. The comet was now well north in Aries, 10° W of the Pleiades M45. 16x20 second exposures. Cropped. 55 mm focal length.

Images taken with a DSLR camera at ISO 800. North is to the bottom-left.


Jacques C/2014 E2 in August 2014

Comet jacques; Click image for higher resolution

The comet on 5th August 2014 at 08.03 UT. The comet was a 7th mag object right on the border of Auriga and Perseus. Perihelion occurred 5 days previously.

106 mm refractor at f/8. 5x15 second exposures. Taken with a SBIG ST-402ME CCD camera. North is to the left in the 28'x19' field.


PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 in the Spring and Autumn of 2014

Comet PanSTARRS Comet PanSTARRS; Click image for higher resolution Comet PanSTARRS; Click image for higher resolution Comet PanSTARRS; Click image for higher resolution

106 mm refractor at f/8. The first three images were obtained with a SBIG ST-402ME CCD camera.


LINEAR C/2012 X1 in March 2014

Comet LINEAR; Click image for higher resolution

The comet on 16th March 2014 at 09.36 UT. The comet is an 9th mag object in Aquila. Three weeks after perihelion, it is moving south-eastwards.

106 mm refractor at f/8. 3x60 second exposures.Taken with a SBIG ST-402ME CCD camera. North is to the left in the 28'x19' field.


Lovejoy C/2013 and the Beehive Cluster in November 2013

Comet ISON; Click image for higher resolution

The Comet near the Beehive open star cluster, M44. 7th November 2013 at 05.00 UT. The Comet was an easy binocular object. North is towards the right.

60 mm refractor operating at f/4.4 with 21x15 second exposures. Taken with a DSLR camera at ISO 800.


ISON C/2012 S1 before perihelion in 2013

Comet ISON; Click image for higher resolution Comet ISON; Click image for higher resolution

PanSTARRS C/2011 L4 in March 2013

Comet PanSTARRS; Click image for higher resolution Comet PanSTARRS; Click image for higher resolution Comet PanSTARRS; Click image for higher resolution Comet PanSTARRS; Click image for higher resolution

LINEAR C/2011 F1 in July 2012

Comet LINEAR; Click image for higher resolution

The comet on 22nd July 2012 at 03.12 UT. The comet is an 11th mag object in Canes Venatici. It is moving south-east.

106 mm refractor at f/5. 10x20 second exposures.Taken with a SBIG ST-402 CCD camera. North is to the right in the 45'x30' field. Also two faint galaxies are visible in the image.


Comet Garradd C/2009 P1 in 2011-2012

Comet Garradd; Click image for higher resolution Comet Garradd; Click image for higher resolution Comet Garradd; Click image for higher resolution Comet Garradd; Click image for higher resolution

Left: The comet on 31st July 2011. From Stellafane star party, Vermont, USA 16X60 second exposures, started at 04.21 UT. North north-west is up.

Middle: The comet on 3rd September 2011. The comet is passing below the Coathanger in Vulpecula. The open cluster NGC 6802 is towards the top-left. 16X45 second exposures, midpoint 03.10 UT. ISO 800. North is up.

Right: 19th September 2011. 17x45 second exposures, midpoint 01.16 UT. ISO 800. North is top-right. The comet lies 16' from the star HIP 91169 in Hercules.

Far Right: 5thFebruary 2012. A quick exposure during morning twilight. 3x30 second exposures, midpoint 10.50 UT. ISO 400. North is towards the left. The comet was then 1.7° from the globular cluster M92 in Hercules. f/3.65.

All taken with a DSLR camera. Field 2.4° by 1.6°. 106 mm refractor, apart from indicated, at f/5.


103P/Hartley in autumn 2010

Comet Hartley; Click image for higher resolution Comet Hartley; Click image for higher resolution Comet Hartley; Click image for higher resolution

This periodic comet is passing close by the Earth in October 2010. It appeared as a low surface brightness object.

Left: 106mm refractor (f/5) with 6x15 second exposures. ISO 800 with DSLR camera, image cropped. 29th September 2010 at 20.04 UT.
Middle: 106mm refractor operating at f/8 with 8x30 second exposures. ISO 800 with DSLR camera, image cropped, north towards right.
6th October 2010 at 20.50 UT.
Right: 60 mm refractor operating at f/6.2 with 8x15 second exposures. ISO 800 with DSLR camera, full frame (1.3° x 1.0°). 20th October 2010 at 05.35 UT.


Lulin C/2007 N3 in March 2009

Comet Machholz; Click image for higher resolution

The comet in a bright moonlit sky on 5th March 2009. Focal length 530 mm with 4X10 second exposures. The green colour of the comet is evident. Taken with a DSLR camera.


17P/Holmes in outburst late 2007

comet holmes comet holmes

This is usually a very faint periodic comet. However in late 2007 it suffered a tremendous outburst in brightness.


LONEOS C/2007 F1 in October 2007

LONEOS

Taken on 19th October 2007 and about 18.30 UT. The comet was then low in the western sky in Boötes, the bright star is Eta Boötis. Composite of seven 15 second images taken with a DSLR camera. ISO 1600. 60 mm refractor at 355mm focal length. The straight tail is faintly visible. That evening I estimated the magnitude of the comet as 5.9.


McNaught C/2006 P1 in January 2007

comet mcnaught comet mcnaught

Photos (details) of Comet McNaught C/2006 P1 on 5th and 10thJanuary 2007. DSLR Camera. This comet became a brilliant object from the southern hemisphere.


SWAN C/2006 M4 in October 2006

SWAN

Photo (detail) taken on 12th Oct 2006. Imaged with a DSLR camera using a 60mm refractor at focal-length 390 mm. The faint tail is visible.


73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann in 2006

Comet 73P

Never a very bright object, 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann passed throught the field of the famous variable star R Corona Borealis. Imaged on 22nd April 2006. 60mm refractor, 355 mm focal-length with a DSLR camera.


Machholz C/2004 Q2 in 2005

Comet Machholz; Click image for higher resolution

The comet passes near the M45 star cluster (Pleiades or Seven Sisters) on 8th January 2005. The green colour of the comet is evident. Imaged with a digital camera (Nikon 4500). 1 minute exposure.


NEAT C/2001 Q4 in 2004

Comet NEAT; Click image for higher resolution

Comet NEAT lies just north of M44 the Beehive Cluster in Cancer on 16th May 2004. Taken from Glencree, Co Wicklow. 50 mm camera lens, 2 minute exposure on Kodak Elite Chrome 200.


Ikeya-Zhang C/2002 C1 in 2002

Comet Ikeya-Zhang; Click image for higher resolution Comet Ikeya-Zhang; Click image for higher resolution

The comet was, at its best, a fine 3rd magnitude object in spring of 2002.

Both at Oristown, Kells, Co. Meath.


LINEAR C/1999 S4 in 2000

Comet LINEAR; Click image for higher resolution

This comet was a binocular object in the summer of 2000.

21st July 2000 at 00.05 UT. 30 second exposure with a ST-7 CCD on a 480mm focal-length 70 mm refractor (Pronto). In the Dublin sky glow, with a waning gibbous moon. Somewhat hazy sky.


Hale-Bopp C/1995 O1, the Great Comet of 1997

Hale-Bopp; Click image for higher resolution Hale-Bopp; Click image for higher resolution Hale-Bopp; Click image for higher resolution Hale-Bopp; Click image for higher resolution Hale-Bopp; Click image for higher resolution Hale-Bopp; Click image for higher resolution

Hyakutake C/1996 B2 in 1996

comet hyakutake

This comet was a spectacular naked-eye object, with a long tail, that passed near the pole. At the time it was 0.12 AU from the Earth.


Austin 1989c1 in 1990

Comet Austin; Click image for higher resolution

The comet was then a 4th magnitude object in Andromeda, a little west of the Andromeda Galaxy M31. A faint tail is visible pointing upwards. 27th April 1990. From the Sugar Loaf, Co Wicklow. Camera lens used.


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