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Comet Lovejoy, Through the clouds


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Nearly 4 weeks and nothing to show. Tonight I just took a chance and took the mount outside ,  fixed  Aldebaran in the centre of the ccd. Set PHD to calibrate and then slewed the mount to the co ordinates of the Comet taken from CDC. Set  PHD to guide on a star and got Nebulosity 3 to capture 80 X 60s subs. The clouds arrived 3 minutes into the imaging but I left the scope running, at the end I had 12 subs that could be used but these had very weak SNR. As I was not prepared to wait for 8000 years I stacked the subs in PI using two different stacking method, one to register on the stars and one to register on the Comet with a strong sigma clipping to wash out the stars and then combined them. Here it is , very noisy and badly framed in a rush  but I am happy that I managed with 12 minutes of data. The small halos around some of the stars are due to the passing clouds and also the transfer of the stars using pixelmath and a less than perfect star mask.

For this I used my wide field ccd set up.

12 X 60s, 201 bias, 35 flats. Stacked and processed in PI.

Atik 428 EXC @ -20C  and a 1.25" Neodymium filter, Canon 200mm F2.8 LII @F3.7 with a front aperture mask. HEQ5 and PHD. From my back garden.

Thanks for Looking.



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