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Comet C/2017 E4 (Lovejoy)

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:39 pm
by rwilkinson
The dedicated Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy now has six comets to his name, having discovered this one last month.
Unfortunately it's low in the morning sky, and being disinclined to set up my imaging gear before 5am, I resorted to trying to catch it using one of the remote iTelescopes.
I missed it last week due to a glitch in the data-file, and then there was a run of poor weather in New Mexico. But I finally caught it this morning (lunchtime in the UK), just before it dipped below the minimum elevation limit for telescope T5:
Comet Lovejoy on 6-Apr. 2x 100-sec with 250mm at f/3.4.
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It's reckoned to be around 7th magnitude at the moment, and has a long tenuous tail.

Re: Comet C/2017 E4 (Lovejoy)

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:09 am
by rwilkinson
After a lot of effort and ingenuity, I've managed to detect this comet from Bolton too.
It's a morning object in the East, where it would be obsucred by trees from my garden. But I was hoping that from a first-floor window I'd be just high enough to see it over the trees, so I set up my "windowsill observatory" with the HX916 camera on my 70ED refractor:
My imaging system on a Celestron LCM mount clamped to the windowsill.
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I'd woken at 4:30 and looking out of the window I could hardly see any stars - there must have been some hazy cloud around. But I could just make out Cassoipeia, so I aligned my GoTo mount on Caph and set it slewing towards Beta Pegasi, which was very close to the comet. Even though it was behind the trees, I could still catch glimpses of this second-magnitude star through the gaps between the branches, but then I had a frustrating half-hour wait before the comet finally cleared the foliage.
By this time it was 5:20 and the sky was brightening quickly, so I had to reduce my exposure-time down to 10-sec and then just managed to snatch a dozen frames before it got too light.
Comet Lovejoy in the morning twilight on 9-Apr. 11x 10-sec with HX916 on 70ED at f/4.1
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