Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

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rwilkinson
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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:24 pm

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:
lj_inv_10jan.png
Stack of data from seven BRT images on 10-Jan, with & without colour filters.
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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:14 pm

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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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:09 pm

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":
lj_13jan.png
Comet Lovejoy on 13-Jan. 120 + 3x 150-sec with BRT Cluster Camera (unfiltered)
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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by DRatledge » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:20 pm

It was easy to see tonight (between the clouds) in 10x30 binos - a large fuzzy blob without any detail.

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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by DRatledge » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:17 pm

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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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:07 pm

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:
2014Q2_18jan.png
Chart from Cartes du Ciel showing the comet's position on Sunday 18-Jan
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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:38 am

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:
imaginginthesnow.jpg
Imaging in the snow, on 18-Jan-2015
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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:
2014Q2_18Jan.png
Comet Lovejoy on 18-Jan. 21x 30-sec plus 11x 60-sec using Atik 16IC with Pentax 135mm lens
2014Q2_18Jan.png (324.79 KiB) Viewed 4639 times
The extent of its tail can be seen better in a "negative" version:
2014Q2_18Jan_neg.png
Comet Lovejoy on 18-Jan. 21x 30-sec plus 11x 60-sec using Atik 16IC with Pentax 135mm lens
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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by DRatledge » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:45 pm

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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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:42 pm

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.
lovejoy_30jan.png
Comet Lovejoy on 30-Jan. 54x 60-sec using Atik 16IC fitted with Pentax-A 50mm lens
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The extent of the tail can be seen better on the "negative":
lovejoy_30jan_neg.png
Negative version showing the extent of the tail
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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:28 am

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):
lovejoy_6feb.png
Comet Lovejoy from Bolton on 6-Feb. 135x 60-sec with Pentax 50mm lens on Atik16IC.
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The tail is less prominent than last month, so I'll be using my 135mm lens next time...

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