My first try was on the new Moon weekend in early October when Comet ISON was still a long way away from Earth but at it’s closest distance to Mars on its journey through the Solar System. Try as I might, I just could not see it visually with either my 80mm refractor or 10x50 binoculars on the morning of the 6th October. It was indeed very faint and with the sky becoming light with every passing minute there was no time to waste, if I wanted to get an image.
So I decided to just get on with it and shoot off a few 3 minutes shots in the general area and see what I got…on my last image I managed to capture the comet just near the edge of the frame…then the sky became just too light to take any more pictures, but I did get one shot…and that’s the main thing!!
Comet ISON image taken with a Meade ED80 refractor telescope tracking on top of larger telescope.
(Just one 3 minute exposure in very light sky).
It’s definitely not an image that will set the world on fire…but at least I got my own image of comet ISON before its fatal encounter with the Sun…and I’m very happy about that :-)
Comet ISON image taken in a very light predawn sky (20x6 second images) with Canon 7D and 17-85mm lens, stacked in DSS.
You can find out all the latest information on Comet ISON at NASA's Comet ISON web pages below:
“The magnificent Comet McNaught”
Because of the cloudy weather that was all over Australia, nobody had managed to see the comet at post perihelion and it was extremely frustrating for all us astronomers!!!
Then on the evening of the 18th January just after sunset, I walked out my front door at home and just could not believe my eyes…there was Comet McNaught in all its glory…”Wow” that’s all I could say as I rushed to grab my camera and tripod….
Comet McNaught image taken at 7.40pm on the 18th January 2007 with Canon 350D and 70-300mm lens set at 300mm. exposure 2.5 seconds, f5.6 & ISO 800.
(Just one shot)
For a moment we both just looked at this incredible scene before our eyes…the comets tail was just unbelievable as it spread right across the horizon and feathered away and down into the horizon…it was just huge, and I needed to use my widest camera lens just to fit in all in the frame…it was just spectacular and so awesome!!!
Photo taken with my Canon 350D and 70-300mm lens set at 75mm at 7.57pm on the 19th January 2007, 20 second exposure at f4, ISO 400.
‘Wow’ what an awesome display Comet McNaught put on for us that night…. just stunning!!!
If Comet ISON had survived its close encounter with the Sun, it may have indeed put on an amazing display just like Comet McNaught…but stay tuned, maybe Comet Lovejoy has a big surprise for us all......
Footnote: On the 15th December I posted some of these images on spaceweather.com in remembrance of this superb comet at: http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=91464