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Leo III - A near hit and run on an obscure target

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#1 Mike Wiles

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 10:27 AM

I'm developing a bit of a fascination with imaging the local group galaxies. So with the last few minutes of darkness last night, I slewed the telescope over to take a test frame of Leo A/Leo III which sits high up in the sickle of Leo. I've been trying to figure out for a little while what in the hell that bright object is because there isn't a bright star for at least 10 degrees and I know it's not the encroaching twilight. I had almost given up figuring that somehow, a nearby light being turned on had disrupted my image. Then I saw a reference in a Sky and Telescope article about a nice comet currently visible in Leo.

It seems that I selected to shoot a test frame of this image at almost the exact moment that Comet Lovejoy 2013/R1 was passing through my tiny field of view. How about that for timing? If I had taken the image 3 hours earlier, I would have been quite surprised to find the comet completely occulting my target object.

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#2 elbee


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Posted 14 November 2013 - 10:53 AM

that is fantastic mike...great capture. good luck on your quest. when you get to LEO I -- you won't be guessing about which star is making that one a tough target. have fun.

#3 rigel123


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Posted 14 November 2013 - 12:12 PM

That's great!

#4 Rick J

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:43 PM

These local ones often resolve nicely. You did a good job on it. I took it back in 2007 but no comet to enhance the field. Leo 1 has some nice carbon stars in it you can try for. Regulus can be a pain at your focal length however.


#5 Mike Wiles

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 05:12 PM

I took test shots last night of Leo I, II and III. All came out pretty well, all things considered. Leo I can be imaged at my focal length if I push Regulus far enough out of the field. It'd be easier if I could just turn Alpha Leonis off for a few hours each night, but getting it out of the field of view will give me a usable image.

As soon as the moon clears out of the way, I'll start working on them some more. I think they'll be a nice little project.

#6 Louietheflyisme


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Posted 15 November 2013 - 04:28 AM

Good job.

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