Comet Catalina

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rwilkinson
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Re: Comet Catalina

Post by rwilkinson » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:32 am

The comet is now tracking into Ursa Major, and last night was close to Alkaid.
So it's very low in the sky in the early evening, but rising to almost overhead just before dawn.

I managed to capture it in the early hours through my window, as it rose above the trees:
c2013us10_15jan.png
Comet Catalina from indoors on 15-Jan. 72x 1-min using HX916 on TS70ED at f/4.1, rescaled by 0.75x.
c2013us10_15jan.png (212.23 KiB) Viewed 6455 times
I had my little 70mm refractor on a Celestron LCM alt-az mount clamped to the windowsill, and then took out the field-rotation in the post-processing (hence the cut-off corner).

The broad dust-tail is curving downwards, and there's a trace of the narrow straight ion-tail around the two o-clock position.

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Re: Comet Catalina

Post by rwilkinson » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:14 pm

The forecast is for clear skies tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
If anyone fancies a look, the comet will be almost overhead at 6:30am, and easy to locate from the stars in the handle of The Plough:
catalina_16jan.png
Comet Catalina at 6:30am on Sat 16-Jan. The circle shows the 4-degree field of 15 x 70 binoculars.
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Re: Comet Catalina

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:44 am

It was a little hazy this morning (but very cold and frosty), however I did manage to image the comet before breakfast:
2013us10_16jan.png
Comet Catalina on the morning of 16-Jan. 25x 30-sec using Pentax K110D on TS70ED at f/4.3
2013us10_16jan.png (274.76 KiB) Viewed 6443 times
With the target directly overhead, I found my right-angle viewer invaluable for aiming the camera:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=425

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Re: Comet Catalina

Post by rwilkinson » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:31 am

Now that the comet has tracked into the Northern sky, it's visible in the evening (and then all through the night). So yesterday evening I got my clearest view yet, with it high up in a dark sky. It was easy to find quite close to Polaris, and I could easily see the coma with a 130P reflector, but ther was no sign of the tail(s).
With the patchy cloud, I only managed to capture a couple of images before the sky filled in - and then it started to rain!
c2013us10_2feb.png
Comet Catalina on 2-Feb. 2x 1-min with HX916 on TS70ED at f/4.3.
c2013us10_2feb.png (378.25 KiB) Viewed 6290 times

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Re: Comet Catalina

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:16 am

Last night the clouds cleared around 10pm, as the Moon was sinking in the West, so I had a go at imaging Comet Catalina.
It was still a little hazy, but the comet was quite high up where the sky was clearest.
c2013us10_13feb.png
Comet Catalina on 13-Feb. 16x 2-min with HX916 on 80ED at f/4.6
c2013us10_13feb.png (428.62 KiB) Viewed 2252 times
The tail is just discernible from the sky background.

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Re: Comet Catalina

Post by rwilkinson » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:43 pm

Caught the comet again last night, from the Wye Valley:
c2013us10_7mar.png
Comet Catalina on 7-Mar. 130x 30-sec using 16IC with 70ED (on alt-az mount).
c2013us10_7mar.png (200.84 KiB) Viewed 2223 times
No light-pollution filter needed here, so I used my Atik 16IC one-shot colour camera.
And I could only manage 30-sec exposures without much field-rotation and trailing on the little Alt-Az mount - but then I aligned and stacked 130 images.

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Re: Comet Catalina

Post by rwilkinson » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:09 am

Compared with last week's colour image from a dark-sky site, this one was taken in bright moonlight from central Bolton (using an Orion light-pollution filter), and stacking exposures of 300-sec rather than 30-sec:
c2013us10_17mar.png
Comet Catalina on 17-Mar. 16x 5-min (guided) using HX916 on 80ED at f/4.6.
c2013us10_17mar.png (442.7 KiB) Viewed 2192 times

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