Monday, January 15, 2007

Comet McNaught First Take

The following are the first shots of Comet McNaught from Mt Ainslie in Canberra on the night of 15-Jan-2007. Conditions were at best poor with heavy smoke haze from bushfires up to about 5 degrees above the western horizon and decreasing from their up. I picked up the comet about 5 minutes after sunset whilst looking at an aircraft. Tracked all the way till around 8:50pm when it was lost by all in a heavy haze bank near the horizon (all but the man with the IR camera that is!).

Comet was naked eye visible for about 5 mins but only marginally due to poor conditions. It was visible in scopes and binoculars from sundown till about 10 mins before it set.

Shots were taken prime focus with Skywatcher 6" Refractor (fl=1200) using Cannon EOS 400D DSLR at various ISO and speed settings. More tomorrow night!

Click on images below to enlarge. Some nicer tail and nucleus detail in the enlargements.


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