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 Post subject: Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:24 pm 
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I'm still waiting for another opportunity to observe the comet, but in the meantime I've pieced together all the useful data collected last night by the BRT Cluster Camera to produce this stack showing how the tail is developing:
Attachment:
File comment: Stack of data from seven BRT images on 10-Jan, with & without colour filters.
lj_inv_10jan.png
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 Post subject: Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:14 pm 
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I've just managed to grab an unexpected opportunity to see the comet with my naked-eye.
Down here (in the Wye Valley), it was actually snowing at around 6:30pm, but astonishingly just an hour later the sky was perfectly clear, so I grabbed the binoculars from the boot of my car and checked the comet's current position in SkySafariPlus. Then star-hopping from Aldebaran through Gamma, Lambda & Ksi Tauri it was quite easy to see. And once I knew where to look, I could see it quite plainly with my unaided eye, and through the binoculars I could just make out some of the tail too.
I even managed to get the 130P telescope onto it (using just the red-dot finder), but then it started to cloud over again, and by 8pm it was raining heavily.


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:09 pm 
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I couldn't make out the detail through my binoculars, but my stack of the BRT data from last night shows that the comet's tail had developed radial "spokes":
Attachment:
File comment: Comet Lovejoy on 13-Jan. 120 + 3x 150-sec with BRT Cluster Camera (unfiltered)
lj_13jan.png
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 Post subject: Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:20 pm 
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It was easy to see tonight (between the clouds) in 10x30 binos - a large fuzzy blob without any detail.


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:17 pm 
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This is the raw stack of 11 x 5 min images from last night. The tail is there but is very faint. Processing is not going to be easy - but it never is from here!


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:07 pm 
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DRatledge wrote:
This is the raw stack of 11 x 5 min images from last night.

Well, you did better than I did - twice I'd polar-aligned my tracker and set up and focused the camera, just for it to cloud over and then start to drop hail!
But the forecast is better for tonight, and the comet is well-placed and easy to find, due West of The Pleiades and just North of Delta Arietis:
Attachment:
File comment: Chart from Cartes du Ciel showing the comet's position on Sunday 18-Jan
2014Q2_18jan.png
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 Post subject: Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:38 am 
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I had to wait until after 10:30pm before some gaps appeared in the clouds, and by then the comet was well round to the the SW, but still high enough that I could see it above the house from half-way down our snow-covered lawn:
Attachment:
File comment: Imaging in the snow, on 18-Jan-2015
imaginginthesnow.jpg
imaginginthesnow.jpg [ 243.05 KiB | Viewed 3813 times ]

In view of the patchy cloud, I started off with 30-sec images, and then managed some of 1-min before the sky filled in again:
Attachment:
File comment: Comet Lovejoy on 18-Jan. 21x 30-sec plus 11x 60-sec using Atik 16IC with Pentax 135mm lens
2014Q2_18Jan.png
2014Q2_18Jan.png [ 324.79 KiB | Viewed 3813 times ]
The extent of its tail can be seen better in a "negative" version:
Attachment:
File comment: Comet Lovejoy on 18-Jan. 21x 30-sec plus 11x 60-sec using Atik 16IC with Pentax 135mm lens
2014Q2_18Jan_neg.png
2014Q2_18Jan_neg.png [ 97.52 KiB | Viewed 3813 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:45 pm 
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Ross,
My image of the 18th looks very similar (this is an unprocessed stack!). Looks like the tail is now 4 degrees long. So if shooting with a DSLR then a 135mm lens would be perfect. Needs a clear night though................

PS started processing the image and the tail is 8 degrees long!
PPS more processing - it is 10 degrees long!!!!!! Looks like a 50mm lens is about right.


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:42 pm 
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I managed some more images (through patchy clouds) from the Wye Valley on Wednesday and again last night. The comet is now almost overhead as darkness falls, not far from the famous double-star Gamma Andromedae.
On the second occasion, I managed to get 54 usable frames (without much cloud) out of the 91 which I captured.
Attachment:
File comment: Comet Lovejoy on 30-Jan. 54x 60-sec using Atik 16IC fitted with Pentax-A 50mm lens
lovejoy_30jan.png
lovejoy_30jan.png [ 328.12 KiB | Viewed 3643 times ]

The extent of the tail can be seen better on the "negative":
Attachment:
File comment: Negative version showing the extent of the tail
lovejoy_30jan_neg.png
lovejoy_30jan_neg.png [ 214.82 KiB | Viewed 3643 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:28 am 
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Last night I managed another imaging run on the comet from my back garden. The sky was a little hazy, and the Moon rose half-way through the run, but at least it didn't snow on me this time! And the comet is very easy to find at the moment as it's very close to Gamma Andromedae (the bright star at the bottom of the frame in this image):
Attachment:
File comment: Comet Lovejoy from Bolton on 6-Feb. 135x 60-sec with Pentax 50mm lens on Atik16IC.
lovejoy_6feb.png
lovejoy_6feb.png [ 355.69 KiB | Viewed 3551 times ]

The tail is less prominent than last month, so I'll be using my 135mm lens next time...


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