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Yue Ma

M42 NIR

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A Very Neat Comet

05/12/2004 12:00AM

A Very Neat Comet
Here are the specifications for the image:

Instrument: 8 inch f/1.5 Schmidt Camera
Platform: Homemade GEM
Film: Supra 400
Exposure: 5m
Filters: NONE
Location: Happy Jack, Arizona
Elevation: 6800 ft.
Sky: Seeing 9/10, Transparency 9/10
Outside Temperature: 10 C
Processing: Photoshop.

Chris notes: "Running 3rd Magnitude or better, this superb object allows a good 45 minutes to get a crisp image after twilight ends. These are all skyfog limited 4 minute exposures, on a dark moonless evening at nearly 7000 feet with mag 7.5 stars seen easily at the zenith. The two orientations seen here are by rotating the film holder in the schmidt 90 degrees between frames. Visually, the comet had a 2 degree tail to the naked eye, however in binoculars, over 7 degrees of tail was seen without much effort. THREE tails are seen here, one greenish tail pointing upward in the top image, a blue ion tail and a brownish dust tail. The green tail points away from the sun."

Image and text used by permission.