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To catch a Comet... by accident.


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Hello all,

I decided I wanted to expand some of my photo taking to some star shots... which can be very difficult to get good ones. There is always compromise between ISO, aperture open duration, etc.

So I ordered a 50mm lens for my DSLR which was recommended for this type of photography. It arrived the other day, and I took it out for a few minutes to try this new lens out.


I saw the Pleiades and took this shot



Then I began rotating the camera north from the above shot and was stunned to see the next picture come up 3 frames later.


On a big screen it is obvious, but here it may be harder to see, but left of the center of the picture appears to be a comet.


Below is zoomed in on the suspected comet



After a bit of research, I was able to determine this is Comet ASASSN1


A good catch I think for my first try.

Edited by Zathrus~SPARTA~
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Hi Zath,


I suspect what you have there is a galaxy not a comet. Not knowing exactly where you are looking its hard to say which, maybe Andromeda?


As you can see from my image below, I have captured two galaxies, Andromeda (middle centre right) and Triangulum, centre left.



Also are images of the Pleiades and Orion Nebula





Enjoy :)

Edited by Samurai~SPARTA~
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Cameras: Canon 1000D, ZWO120MC

Lenses: Canon 50mm F1.8, Canon 18-85mm EF-S F3.5-F5.6, Top-Max 420-800mm F8.3-16 HD Telephoto

Mount: EQ5

Telescope: SkyWatcher 150 pds Newtonian

Extras: Altair 60mm guide scope with Altair GPCAM using PHD2

Software: DeepSky Stacker and PS3


I have built a home made 8inch pillar to mount the EQ5 on giving significant improvement in Stability over the tripod that it comes with.

Edited by Samurai~SPARTA~
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Hi all,


No that is not a galaxy Samurai although it is close to several in the sky. That is Comet ASASSN1 and I have confirmed that through Planetarium data.

For me the comet is located nearly due north and is located in Constellation Cepheus.


I am not using anything other than a 50mm lens... no telescope yet although I have an 8 inch Celestron I hope to use in the future. (need to get a telescope mount for my camera)

This comet is only visible with binoculars, camera, telescope, etc.


right now I have a Nikon D3300 with 50mm F1.8 lens. Soon I hope to get a telescope mount for it so I can mount it to my celestron 8 inch.

The pictures I posted above were shot at ISO 1600 and I would need a very long exposure to capture a nebula using only the 50mm lens.


If you would like to find this comet Samurai (or anyone else), I found an excellent website for identifying what your shooting in the sky. https://theskylive.com/planetarium


With that website, put in your location and it will grab planetarium data from the point on earth closest to you they have data for. In my case, the data is for Phoenix which is only about 90 miles away.

You can enter specific objects including planets, comets, nebula, probes, etc. and it will highlight them for you in the sky.

Edited by Zathrus~SPARTA~
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Samurai.... It is possible I suppose that is a galaxy... but if that is not the comet... the comet is there in that area of the second shot I posted I have confirmed that. and it should be very near what I identified as the comet


I think right now Samurai you have a better setup than me and more experience shooting star shots... perhaps you can use the skylive website I linked above to pinpoint that comet's location from where you are and take a couple of pictures to see what we see?

I am thinking you might get a better image than I can get right now. If you don't have time or ability to do that at this time I understand completely. I think it is going to be visible for some time.

Edited by Zathrus~SPARTA~
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Excellent Samurai!


That is one thing I do love about the Southwest here in the USA... cloudy skies are the exception rather than common rule.


I hope to get my telescope cleaned, mirrors fine tuned and re-aligned soon. (My Celestron C8 was built in 1977 but they are well made with all parts replaceable and adjustable as needed with many of the parts made today for the currently manufactured C8 still compatible with one built in 1977) I have heard the newer ones have fewer things that are adjustable and you tend to replace component modules as necessary. But telescope shops love these older ones as they are fully serviceable and they can adjust them until they are nearly perfect.


8 miles down the road from me is an outfit called "Starizona": http://starizona.com/acb/ This is where I am going to take my telescope for fine tuning.


If you look at their main page, you will see that a telescopic imaging system pioneered and developed by Starizona called "Hyperstar" is operating on the ISS.

They informed me they can install a modification on my old C8 and significantly increase it's light gathering power.... it already can do that well... I am tempted.


I hope you get some very nice clear skies soon Samurai! :thumbsup:

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So I have been checking that part of the sky and if I did not capture a comet... then it would likely be one of the Messier objects in the north sky. M53 and M39 I think are closest.


But then I went to see what comets are visible and.....WOW!


I knew there were several comets out there currently... but I had no idea there were this many zipping through our solar system right now. I just went to the skylive website to check on comets... they currently list 6 pages (107 comets) in the solar system. https://theskylive.com/comets


Granted some of them are very dim, but they list the magnitude of each comet, so you know which ones will show up well. They also give a link for each comet straight into the planetarium that shows you exactly where each comet is.

Unfortunately... as far as I can tell... you have to do that one at a time. I have been unable to figure out how to get it to show all the comets in the sky at the same time.

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