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 Post subject: Comet ISON
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:26 pm 
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Starry Night Pro has updated its data for Comet Ison and is now predicting (guessing?) a spectacular show. Bearing in mind how (in)accurate it was for Panstarrs perhaps we shouldn't get too excited just yet.


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File comment: Starry Night Pro - 5:00 pm 1st December 2013
ISON-SNP.JPG
ISON-SNP.JPG [ 60.31 KiB | Viewed 7783 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Comet ISON
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:14 am 
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There's an abridged version of my presentation from last night in our Members' Area:
http://www.boltonastro.co.uk/members2/index.php/fp/Members%E2%80%99-Presentations/Getting-ready-for-Comet-ISON/


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 Post subject: Re: Comet ISON
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:59 am 
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Very good presentation Ross, thanks for posting it.

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Comet ISON - the view from Mars
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:14 am 
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I mentioned in my talk the other night that the comet was passing close to Mars, and would be imaged by NASA's rovers and orbiter. But as I explained, their cameras were only designed for imaging bright sunlit landscapes, so they may not get much of a "faint fuzzy" (just like trying to iimage deep-sky objects with an unmodified webcam).
Well, here are their preliminary results: http://www.uahirise.org/releases/ison.php


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 Post subject: Re: Comet ISON
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:15 am 
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Martin Mobberley managed to capture this image on 3-Oct using iTelescope.net:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BVqa8DzCEAAgmRV.jpg:large
That's a single 2-min exposure with a 17" telescope operating at f/4.5 (and the comet's nucleus is over-exposed).


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 Post subject: Re: Comet ISON
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:30 am 
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This morning I managed to get my first image of the comet - whilst I was still asleep!
I used the BRT ClusterCam (actually a 180mm telephoto lens rather than a telescope); but it's not yet possible to select a comet as the object - however as it's so close to Mars at the moment, I set that as my target and got it in the 4.3 degree field:
Attachment:
File comment: Single 60-sec image from BRT ClusterCam on 11-Oct. Mars is so bright that it's caused considerable "blooming" in the CCD.
ison_11oct.jpg
ison_11oct.jpg [ 232.63 KiB | Viewed 6649 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Comet ISON - viewed from Arizona!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:33 pm 
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I've just discovered another source of recent FITS data of the comet for image-processing: the MicroObservatory run by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics:
http://mo-www.harvard.edu/jsp/servlet/MO.ID.ImageDirectory
This is a network of very small (only 6") robotic telescopes located in dark-sky sites in the USA.

I found a series of three observations of ISON taken by their telescope "Donald" in Arizona over a 40-minute period this morning.
After importing the FITS data into IRIS and applying my usual processing, I produced this stack:
Attachment:
File comment: 3x 60-sec images, aligned on the comet before stacking
ison_13oct.jpg
ison_13oct.jpg [ 112.89 KiB | Viewed 6629 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Comet ISON
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:17 pm 
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It is getting brighter and the tail is extending as it moves closer to the Sun:
Attachment:
File comment: Stack of 4x 60-sec exposures from telescope "Donald" in Arizona.
I also found a single dark-frame, which enabled me to get rid of a load of "hot-pixels" before stacking.

ison_28oct.jpg
ison_28oct.jpg [ 91.58 KiB | Viewed 6581 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Comet ISON
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:53 am 
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I mentioned in my talk at the start of last month that the Bradford Robotic Telescope team were working on a new algorithm to allow their telescopes to be pointed directly at comets - well their first test completed a few hours ago:
Attachment:
File comment: C/2012 S1 ISON on 2-Nov: the first test-image using the BRT's new comet-spotting algorithm.
Single 60-sec exposure with GalaxyCam.

ison_2nov.jpg
ison_2nov.jpg [ 50.37 KiB | Viewed 6551 times ]
This is the entire 24 arc-min FoV of the 1877mm f/5.3 imaging system, so Chris scored a "bullseye" at his first attempt! 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Comet ISON
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:16 pm 
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This morning the Bradford Robotic Telescope's Galaxy Camera captured its first few images of Comet ISON, which I've just been stacking:
Attachment:
File comment: 4x 60-sec + 1x 70-sec with BRT Galaxy Camera (C14 telescope operating at f/5.3)
ison_7nov_gc.jpg
ison_7nov_gc.jpg [ 61.14 KiB | Viewed 6519 times ]
I can just make out some structure in the tail, but sadly there are also some artefacts from the CCD and optics around there too. Their flat-field correction didn't seem to help at all, so this image is stacked from the uncalibrated files.

I also got a wider-field image with the Cluster Camera:
Attachment:
File comment: Single 60-sec image with BRT Cluster Camera
ison_7nov_cc.jpg
ison_7nov_cc.jpg [ 124.22 KiB | Viewed 6519 times ]
Their new comet-tracking algorithm takes all the trial & error out of catching a comet in their cameras' field-of-view. 8-)


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