Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques

An assembled version of the imagery I took of comet C/2014 E2 Jacques. 24 x 4min exposures, stacked in Images Plus and final processed in Photoshop. While traces of the tails were visible, I was unable to preserve the faint signal in this processed color frame.

Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques
Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques, 24 x 4min with a Canon 6D and a TV-76mm scope

Postcard from the Universe – C/2013 R1 Lovejoy

I had set the alarm clock for 0230 to get up with plenty of time to setup and take comet photos. What greeted me was a sheet of cloud, an all to familiar sight lately. I did not reset the alarm and went back to sleep. A couple hours later I found myself lying awake again, realizing I would probably not fall back to sleep I got up to look outside. To my surprise Orion shown brightly over the street.

Is there enough time to setup and shoot before dawn?

I rushed the alignment, hoping to setup in less than half an hour. Things did not go smoothly… The EOS utility in the computer did not recognize the 6D, I need to update the drivers. A thin cloud stubbornly sat in front of Polaris, I think I got the polar alignment, the star was very dim on the polar ‘scope. Even when exposures seemed to be going smoothly I they were not. I find out later the auto-guider had moved itself to a hot pixel, probably when a bit of cloud passed through. In the rush I did not get a dark frame for the guider, most of the frames show small guide errors.

One not so bad bit of serendipity… The Hubble Space Telescope went right through one of the frames.

Despite all I did get an image of the comet. It should have been better, rushing astrophotography is not a good plan…

C/2013 R1 Lovejoy
Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy on Nov 15, 2013. Canon 6D with the AT6RC and a 0.8x focal reducer. 12 x 60s at ISO 6400.

A New Camera – The Canon 6D

What to do when you get a check from selling some time-lapse footage? Go out and buy another camera, of course. Just a case of using hobby income to support the hobby. The curious coincidence of the check arrival and a very nice package deal at B&H Photo helped in the process.

Rasalhague mugging for the camera. Canon 6D and 50mm f/1.8 lens
The new camera is a Canon 6D, my first full-frame digital camera. I have been considering the purchase for quite a while, basically since the camera was first announced just over a year ago.

The real attraction to me is the low noise performance of the full frame sensor. This is critical when shooting in the dark for nightscapes and for astrophotography. The camera is currently one of the best on the market, beating out the more expensive Canon 5D MkII and MkIII’s. I am looking forward to what this camera can do when mounted to a telescope or paired with a fast lens in the dark.

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