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Long-awaited Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks from Brisbane, Australia - an attempt

Comet
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#1 Alexandrite

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 08:52 PM

I've been tracking Comet Pons-Brooks and watching all your posts with interest. On the 10th of April, I noticed it would be located right between Jupiter and the young crescent Moon, so this would be a good occasion to try to locate it.

After getting caught in traffic, my husband & I changed our location plans and headed up to Mt Gravatt Lookout (Brisbane, Australia).
It turns out that despite the glow from the city to the North, this was a good decision, as I managed to find a nice spot to set up where both the Moon and Jupiter were visible between the foreground trees:
 

gallery_12038_26079_28921.jpg

 

On the way home after moon-set, we came across an injured ringtail possum that we took to the vet, so I didn't even check my files until the following morning.

 

The following morning I had only a quick look, and went to work feeling like yesterday's time was wasted - that I'd had no luck at all in finding the comet. (and the possum didn't survive, so I thought bad luck all around.)
I knew it would be bloody hard to see it in all this twilight glow, but I thought I had a chance knowing its location...

 

...then some time during the work day, it dawned on me that the comet may be hiding somewhere in the RAW data. And if I thought of it like astrophotography, stacking the RAW images might help to bring it out!

I normally do wildlife photography not landscapes or wide field like this, so normally when I think stacking, I think imaging through the telescope, I hadn't actually done it with camera files before. Stacking for panoramas, yes, but not for finding faint comets... :)

 

Anyway, after some googling for how-tos, and wrestling with Photoshop's layer alignment, it worked! There was the faint fuzzy comet - and Uranus, and several background stars of Aries:

 

gallery_12038_26079_1052123.jpg


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#2 Auburt

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 10:11 PM

Nice catch!

Just came in from the front yard to find it myself. I did! Think I’ll try and photograph 12p this weekend. Wish me luck
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#3 Sky King

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 10:49 PM

Very cool! 


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#4 Alexandrite

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 02:38 AM

Thank you both :)

 

Have been practicing my image-stacking on this comet, now that it's come up a little higher. This was over my neighbour's roof, image from 8 exposures:

 

 

gallery_12038_26079_178472.jpg


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#5 Special Ed

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 09:56 AM

These are nice widefield captures--very well done!


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#6 luxo II

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Posted 21 April 2024 - 03:33 AM

Well done, Alexandrite.

 

The sky cleared over Sydney finally and I was able to locate it In 8x40 binocs, just above and a tad to the right of Xi Tau.

 

However... it isn't a naked eye target and in the binocs a very disappointing tiny fuzzball, and personally I won't be attempting to image it.

 

Now if only someone could dump a bucket of ice water on the media and tell them to shut up about it.


Edited by luxo II, 21 April 2024 - 03:35 AM.



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