Mining comet data from the archives

Blog the previous nights viewing. Link to images on the gallery or simply describe what you observed the night before. Leave the technical and howto in another forum.
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Mining comet data from the archives

#1 Post by rwilkinson » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:51 am

Looking round the MicroObservatory website, I've just discovered that in addition to the FITS data from all their recent images from the last fortnight, they've also archived data from all the comets they've imaged over the last decade: ... e=view&AC=
This is an useful source of data for image-processing practice.

So I've just been back to work on a couple of the comets which I imaged myself from Bristol back in 2002 - these were among my very first astro-imaging experiments.
I first saw Comet Ikeya-Zhang from an aircraft window whilst flying back from Sydney in April 2002, and then on arriving back home managed to get a very faint image of it on 35mm film. But this MicroObservatory image (using a rather noisy early CCD detector) caught it in Andromeda at around the same time:
Stack of 3x 60-sec images from telescope "Cecilia" in Cambridge, MA
ikeya_zhang_5apr02.jpg (110.58 KiB) Viewed 2936 times
Then Comet Hoenig was discovered by a young German amateur later that year, and was one of the very first images from my Starlight Xpress MX5C camera. But the MicroObservatory got better results than I did through my flat window!
Stack of 10x 60-sec images from telescope "Ed" in Tucson, AZ
hoenig_14aug02.jpg (80.51 KiB) Viewed 2936 times

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