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Comet 252P/LINEAR passing through the constellation Mensa and approaching Earth on the 18th March 2016 by Mike O'Day ( 500px.com/MikeODay ). Comet 252P/LINEAR is a near-Earth comet that was discovered by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project in April of 2000. 252P has an orbital period of 5.3 years and passes close to the orbit of the Earth. In 2016 it passed 'very close' to Earth (in astronomical terms) on the 21st of March 2016, when, at its nearest, it was only 14 times the distance to the moon (~5.3 million kms). This image was taken three days before comet 252P/LINEAR made its closest approach when it was at a distance of about 5.9 million kms ( position as at ~16:22 Fri 18 Mar 2016 UTC as seen from the Blue Mountains above Sydney Australia ) Links: https://500px.com/MikeODay http://photo.net/photos/MikeODay Details: RA 06h 40m 38s, Dec -80 deg 18' 37" (Epoch 2016.2) Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount Guiding: Orion Shortube 80 guidescope, Starshoot Autoguider, PHD2, (guiding on star) Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector Hutech IDAS D1 light pollution filter Nikon D5300 (unmodified) Field of view (min) ~ 74 x 49 Stack of 185 x 7sec images @ ISO6400 Pixinsight (incl. Comet Alignment tool) Comet moved ~ 475 pixels East and 1470 pixels South during the time the images where captured. In the image Up is North and Left is East.
I saw the sky was clear so had a quick go at Jupiter. There was faint cloud passing by though so I didn't try for long. Seeing was best I had so far, but still not great. At least there were some periods when it wasn't moving too much. The three captures were taken less than 5 mins apart, so this 3 frame animation stretches less than 10 minutes. I knew it moved, but I didn't know it was that much! DFK21AU618, Bresser 3x barlow, Meade 8" SCT. Stacked in AS!2 and wavelets by RS5. Animated in Jasc Animation Shop if anyone is old enough to remember that... I'll have a play with WinJupos later and see if that helps.