Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) November 30, 2013

Posted by Victor C. Rogus
on Friday, December 27, 2013

Beautiful Comet, Lovejoy continues to grace our skies. If at all possible do not miss this chance to see and photograph this passing wonder. Still cold here in Jadwin, Missouri, but not quite as bad as it has been. Sky quality this morning was not the best with a few passing thin clouds, a murky horizon and a bothersome wind gusting in breezy puffs from the West.

As you may have guessed by now I favor refractors, and the wind can cause them to jiggle and vibrate and cause them problems in general, more than telescopes of other designs. I tried to make my exposures this morning between the wind gusts. I would listen to the rustling of the pine trees, they would warn me when the wind would start to pick up and I would end my exposure. I say, say, "who needs a wind gauge when you have a pine tree?".

This is a 79 second exposure made at f9 with a 5 inch apochromatic refractor. I chose a blistering ISO of 6400, that added some graininess, but this fast speed seemed to capture some detail in the comet's tail that slower speeds were just not picking up as well. Never seems to be a perfect solution, we just do the best we can.

I know its cold out there and painful to get out of bed, but to my old eyes, Comet, Lovejoy is indeed a naked eye target and something I know you all do not want to miss. So clouds and wind permitting make the effort to get out there and spend some time with this traveler of the night, you will be glad you did!

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