Comet Q2 Lovejoy – February 13, 2015 (reprocessed)

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I’ve ended the previous post with a promise that I shall reprocess the images from the night of February 13th showing comet Lovejoy with a plasma “blob”.

Well, that I did, and so I’m posting…

The final image is a stack of 8 frames, each a 5 minute exposure at ISO 3200 with a 65mm F/6.5 TS APO Refractor and Canon 550D, all on a NEQ6 mount, guided via PHD software with a DSI I camera and 50mm finderscope.

Q2 Febr 13 bA “softer” version of the above, and also rotated:

Q2 Febr 13 AAnd since in an image presenting a comet the most interesting detail is the tail, I’ve assembled a sequence showing different processing modes, some showing finer details (like jets) in the tail. The first image is the original-colored version, while the second and third ones are grayscale and inverted versions respectively. The fourth and fifth were processed without stars, which makes possible for the finest details in the tail to become visible.

tail comparisonWhile still in the processing steps, I’ve observed that there are a lot of small galaxies in the same field as the comet, so I’ve decided to create an identification image, showing a galaxy chain of around 18 such objects, some reaching magnitude +17(!), which is not bad for a 65mm instrument in the acquisition conditions that I had (mag. +5.5 sky, light pollution, humidity, high ISO setting, only 8 frames…).

galaxiesAlso, for perhaps a better identification, an animation:

galaxies anim

Looking forward for clear skies, to capture once again this dynamic comet.


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