Monday, 19 May 2014

Cometary Conjunction

I managed somehow to get an image out of the 20 inch scope after its drive rebuild. It has been out of action for imaging for months. The drives are still in their development stages, and I'd disassembled my focal reducer adapter for that scope. I had to image in short exposures (20s) and pick the best 30% or so. It was an ideal photo opportunity with the 3.7 magnitude guide star χ Ursae Majoris, a degree from the brightening comet 2012 K1 PANSTARRS, and its usual companion, galaxy NGC 3677. Still, this lovely pairing made a great view and photo - they just fit in the frame. χ UMa is a little off the top of the field of view (around 30' across). This comet is worth watching as it passes by φ UMa and descends into the summer twilight and may become visible in the morning sky in autumn. It has moved a little (SW) during this images exposure time.

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