Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) in February 2013

18
Feb

Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) in February 2013

I've just come back from three nights running a Night Sky Photography Workshop at Lake Eppalock, and while I was supposed to be instructing, I was also very keen to capture some images of Comet Lemmon (and Comet Panstarrs) over the weekend.

The weather continued hot and dry like it has all this Victorian summer, and so while we had largely clear skies at night we were battling a lot of smoke haze (and some high cloud) that made the sky low in the south quite murky (at best) on Friday and Saturday nights. The night of Sunday 17th February 2013 was considerably better, and so I was very pleased to be able to capture this image.

Comet C/2012 F6 Lemmon
Comet C/2012 F6 Lemmon, 17th February 2013
Takahashi Epsilon 160 (530mm, f3.3) and Canon/Astro 40D
100 * 1 minute exposures @ ISO1600

The image was captured with some trusty old equipment - my Takahashi Epsilon 160 (530mm f3.3) and Canon 40D (Astro 40D as modified by CentralDS). The Epsilon astrograph is perfectly designed for capturing comets! Ambient temperatures of 25-30 degrees Celsius were hardly ideal for imaging, but a little cooling on the Astro 40D helped. Because it also spectrum modified, colour balancing this image is a little tricky and it has been severely stretched along the way. Nonetheless, I am very happy with the amount of detail captured. Among other features, note the three faint thin tail lines below the main tail around the middle of this image.

I also have images captured at wider focal lengths of 300mm and also 200mm which includes the Small Magellenic Cloud and the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. Those images will be added soon just as soon I've had some sleep to recover from the weekend!