Driveway Astrophotography and Comet Garradd

Finally, a night where… A) The sky is clear. B) The wind is not howling through the palm trees. C) I am not exhausted by working the summit. D) I do not have to get up early the next morning.

A + B + C + D = Astrophotography from the driveway!

Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd
Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd on 29 March 2012 showing both tails, sum of 50 x 1 min exposures CoolSNAP ES and 180mm f/2.8 lens
Thus, under a very pretty sky, I rolled the photo rig out of the garage and spent some time getting everything back together. I was not in a hurry, time to let a bright crescent Moon set a little and my primary target rise a little. The target at the top of the list? Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd.

The comet is nicely placed in Ursa Major, transiting late in the evening, available for several hours of exposures. And expose I did, with the auto-guider locked on the a dim star beside the comet, the shutter open for well over two hours. I was shooting my Canon 20Da and the AT6RC, a combination that framed the comet nicely.

It will take a while to get the resulting images processed. In the meantime I did a quick process on a set of images taken with the wide field/finder CCD camera. The results of which can be seen at the right. I also shot a few quick images of the M95 area with the CCD to capture SN2012aw.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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