Mars-Neptune conjunction and comet 45P – December 31, 2016

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My last astro-shots for 2016: the close conjunction of Mars and Neptune and one final shot of comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, both acquired under superb conditions at Runcu Stone, Dambovita county.

First shot shows Mars and Neptune in Capricornus in a region with a few faint galaxies. Neptune’s Triton is also detectable in the image:


Next, comet 45P imaged at an altitude of 9 to 7 degrees. Very low above the horizon but the great conditions allowed for detecting its splitting tail and a disconnecting event. The comet was well visible in 15×80 binos and a 9×50 finder.

45P Dec 31.jpg

Also, a test image of M31 with the TS 65Q APO Refractor. Some problems with the field-flattener lens and stacking issues (see the image below, left-side area), so I’ve ended up with a cropped and downsized image. The issues were resolved eventually, but for now this is the only shot using this setup. Since this image was acquired, I’ve also solved my guiding problems (using PHD and a 200mm F.L. finder scope with the ASI174MM camera), and test shots at 800mm FL with the ASI1600MM shot pinpoint stars at 5 minutes (with no binning). The following imaging sessions at Runcu Stone will produce some nice results I hope.

So the M 31 image, with an inverted view. I like the “black-hole” effect on the right hand image.


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