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Comet C2020 V2 (ZTF)

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While waiting for NGC5631 to rise in the early hours of the 7th to capture it's supernova, I looked for something a bit higher up. Comet C/2020 V2 (ZTF) was lurking in Draco. Full moon and some passing high cloud made it a typical struggle:

10" Newt, ASI 071 MC Pro. 72 x 60 sec subs binned 2x2. Having camera trouble. But got there in the end. Had a few breaks in the capture run to swap camera drivers in APT and then had no end of bother with the cooling playing up. 

Here it is stacked in DSS using Comet stacking with stacked stars too. Not an exciting comet!



Here it is stacked in ASTAP with the background equalized. Just stacked on the comet.



I created an animation in ASTAP which shows how poor and variable the conditions were. Unfortunately it in Y4M format which is uncompressed, huge file size and won't play here. Tried converting it to MP4 but that wont embed either. Plus it's lost a lot of quality.


Edited by Paul M
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Playing with my new RC 10, first light really, other than some focussing time at M1.

JUst can't help myself with fast moving comets. Better conditions than last time but still not perfect. Work in Progress tonight. DEfinitely showing a tail in 6o sec subs.


About 23 subs live stacked on the stars. Lots of movement. Gonna leave it running and go to bed. Stack on the comet tomorrow and even do another animation!




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I had a look at this comet with my dob tonight. Not far from Polaris now. Large and bright with a hint of a tail visually but that might be my imagination.


I went back an hour and a half later and it's movement is was obvious.


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Nice sketch of a nice little comet. The tail certainly shows on my subs and I think your sketch shows about as much as there is to see.

I haven't processed my images from last night. Some 190 x 60 sec subs. But looking through them quickly this morning there are two gaps. I looks like a bank of cloud passed over around 3.30am and killed about 25 subs then a merian flip caused another gap. So bang goes the nice smooth 3 hour animation I hoped for!

I might leave the scope on it gain tonight. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally got back to the images I collected on Dec 13, during what was supposed to be a clear night. I did leave the imaging plan running and it did complete and included a full automatic and unattended flip. Unfortunately a big chunk of subs were ruined by a bank of cloud. The collimation was needing a tweak on my new RC10 so my stars are eggier than usual! 

This is 156 of 180 x 60 sec subs.

The comet has a bright nucleus which is saturated here because I was also having camera driver issues and didn't realise the gain was 240. Not much lese to see other than it's motion so I've included another dodgy  animation. 

The image was stacked in ASTAP using the "ephemeris stack" tool, so no need to manually identify the comet manually in each sub prior to stacking. The animation was created in the ASTAP blink tool. Not found an automatic way for that to dump bad subs so rather than clip the data I've included the cloudy spell where ASTAP loses image registration briefly and fails to rotate some of the post flip subs.

Anyway, what follow probably isn't worth all these words...





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  • 3 weeks later...

During yesterday's tests of live stacking in SharpCap I have captured this comet just before the clouds came. Not a very pretty image, just a souvenir from the space. It is only about 7 minutes of exposure (100x4s), but the comet has already moved a little during this time (actually over 5000km in the space relative to us :)

100x4s with Player One Saturn C camera, TecnoSky 90/540 0.8x FF/FR on EQ6, cropped a bit (533 sensor is square). NGC6463 open cluster is visible in top left corner. 


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