Comet ISON

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DRatledge
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Comet ISON

Post by DRatledge » Thu May 30, 2013 4:26 pm

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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ISON-SNP.JPG
Starry Night Pro - 5:00 pm 1st December 2013
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Re: Comet ISON

Post by rwilkinson » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:14 am

There's an abridged version of my presentation from last night in our Members' Area:
http://www.boltonastro.co.uk/members2/i ... omet-ISON/

bholmes

Re: Comet ISON

Post by bholmes » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:59 am

Very good presentation Ross, thanks for posting it.

Regards

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Re: Comet ISON - the view from Mars

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:14 am

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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Re: Comet ISON

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:15 am

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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Re: Comet ISON

Post by rwilkinson » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:30 am

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:
ison_11oct.jpg
Single 60-sec image from BRT ClusterCam on 11-Oct. Mars is so bright that it's caused considerable "blooming" in the CCD.
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Re: Comet ISON - viewed from Arizona!

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:33 pm

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/M ... eDirectory
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:
ison_13oct.jpg
3x 60-sec images, aligned on the comet before stacking
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Re: Comet ISON

Post by rwilkinson » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:17 pm

It is getting brighter and the tail is extending as it moves closer to the Sun:
ison_28oct.jpg
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.
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Re: Comet ISON

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:53 am

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:
ison_2nov.jpg
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 (50.37 KiB) Viewed 8039 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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Re: Comet ISON

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:16 pm

This morning the Bradford Robotic Telescope's Galaxy Camera captured its first few images of Comet ISON, which I've just been stacking:
ison_7nov_gc.jpg
4x 60-sec + 1x 70-sec with BRT Galaxy Camera (C14 telescope operating at f/5.3)
ison_7nov_gc.jpg (61.14 KiB) Viewed 8007 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:
ison_7nov_cc.jpg
Single 60-sec image with BRT Cluster Camera
ison_7nov_cc.jpg (124.22 KiB) Viewed 8007 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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