Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) Photo Report

I took advantage of an unexpectedly clear Sunday night (18 Jan 2015) and my annual pass to Johnathan Dickenson State Park to try to capture a more detailed photo of Comet Lovejoy. I had previously gotten a shot of the green dot amount the stars, but had not gotten to see the tail(s). The pictures I found on the web had mostly been from far away places or even remotely operated telescopes, but I hadn't seen or taken photos for myself.

I took a series of pictures and then stacked them to tease out the details and minimize the mostly unavoidable sky glow, but the photo result below shows that it can be done -- even here in Florida!  The moonlight part of the month is now back and I understand that the comet brightness may be waning -- but at least I got my shot!  A hint of the tails could be detected in the individual photos, but the stack processing really brought them out. The shape and pattern was new to me, but looking at the results of others on line, I find others get similar results (so it's not a photo processing artifact)!

Photo details:  Canon T3i with 300mm telephoto lens piggybacked on a Meade LX6 mount.  20 - 15 second exposures processed with Nabulosity, Lightroom, and Photoshop Elements.

Photo details:  Canon T3i with 300mm telephoto lens piggybacked on a Meade LX6 mount.  20 - 15 second exposures processed with Nabulosity, Lightroom, and Photoshop Elements.

 

 

Hans Heynau