Outdoor Ontario

Off Topic => Anything Goes => Topic started by: Shortsighted on July 17, 2020, 04:34:24 pm

Title: Comet Neowise
Post by: Shortsighted on July 17, 2020, 04:34:24 pm
Has anyone yet tried to observe and/or photograph the comet Neowise?
Title: Re: Comet Neowise
Post by: Howieh on July 18, 2020, 12:30:57 am
Yes, I finally found it (using 10*50 binoculars) this evening and took several pictures with my old Canon 50D and a sigma 17-70 lens; nothing too impressive but I'll keep trying, may even try with the SX50 if I can find a darker spot close to home. I actually have a good opening in the right direction from my driveway but the light pollution is terrible. My son went to a friends place in Aurora with his 5D IV and my old 100-400 lens but he hasn't sent me anything so I suspect his images weren't much better than mine! Have you seen it?
Title: Re: Comet Neowise
Post by: Shortsighted on July 18, 2020, 10:52:12 am
I went out last night at 9:15 (after sunset) and stationed myself at the edge of a large farmer's field
looking north. I could see the entire northern sky from west to east down to almost the horizon. I figured
that it would be between Ursa Major and the horizon but I saw nothing. I waited until just past 10 p.m.
when the constellation finally became just visible. Vega was easily visible and Jupiter in the south was
very bright indeed. Anyway, I saw no comet. I did not bring binoculars because I figured that it was visible
to the naked eye and therefore I could get a one second shot with my 200mm. Had I known that the comet
was so dim I would have brought binoculars but I was not going to wait any longer ... too tired, too much mosquito
activity and nothing worth seeing anyway.
Title: Re: Comet Neowise
Post by: Howieh on July 18, 2020, 02:35:21 pm
I went out just before 10pm and found it immediately with my bins. It might be a naked eye object for some people but definitely not for me; even with my bins it was well defined but still very faint. I hope I'm wrong but last night might have been the last "good" seeing for a few days because the haze is getting worse in the warm humid air. Btw, the shot my son sent me IS much better than any of mine. He promised to send a few more so I'll try to post one here later today. This evening it will be close to a couple of fairly bright stars so lets hope mother nature cooperates where the sky is concerned! :)

https://spaceweather.com/images2020/18j ... 8jul20.png (https://spaceweather.com/images2020/18jul20/skymap_18jul20.png)
Title: Re: Comet Neowise
Post by: Howieh on July 19, 2020, 12:02:35 pm
I still haven't downloaded my Neowise shots from July 17 but, as promised, here is the shot my son took from a darker spot that same evening:
Title: Re: Comet Neowise
Post by: Shortsighted on July 19, 2020, 04:34:19 pm
That is certainly a respectable result with a 400mm lens.
Do you know what exposure he used, ie) f-stop and speed?
I found that even as short as 1.6 sec there was a slight skew
of the star point. It was OK at 1 sec. A celestial object moves
about 15 " of arch in one second and the resolution would
swallow that movement. Jupiter right now is about 50" of arc
across. Also, at what time did your son take the photo?
Did he stack exposures and then process with software or
just take a single exposure? Either way, very nice capture.
Title: Re: Comet Neowise
Post by: Dinusaur on July 19, 2020, 08:37:14 pm
I ventured out an hour north of Toronto; unfortunately during my stay for an hour; the cloud-covered sky didn't let me see and photograph the comet. Will tray again another day.
Title: Re: Comet Neowise
Post by: Howieh on July 20, 2020, 12:02:55 pm
Thanks for your patience! The camera settings were: f/5.6, 5 seconds (a bit too long?), ISO-1000 at @370mm. Barring an unforeseeable change in the expected sky conditions we are go for a great evening of comet viewing so grab those bins, find a dark spot and enjoy the show!

https://spaceweather.com/ (https://spaceweather.com/)
Title: Re: Comet Neowise
Post by: Shortsighted on July 21, 2020, 01:06:18 pm
I went out again to try and see Neowise because the atmosphere was clearer than the first time and the lower temperature would reduce the mosquito problem. I also left later … to get there by about 10:30 p.m. I had no trouble finding the comet this time by using 8x50 binoculars. Once spotted I could just about make out where it was with the naked eye.
200mm lens f4 shot wide open at various ISO setting (400-3200). The slower ISO was not enough to capture the comet’s tail at the limited exposure allowed. 800 ISO was passable but 1600 offered more of the tail. 3200 was just too much noise.
I tried exposures from 1.6 sec to 8 seconds. Anything over 2.5 sec showed movement of the stars if I crop in. Attached shot: the colour shot 2 sec @ 1600.
I took group shots of 10 frames each in hopes of getting some image stacking software and trying again. Noise reduction software would be nice too.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-w4ZZvSn/0/c8de4c60/M/i-w4ZZvSn-M.jpg) (https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-358cgw/i-w4ZZvSn/A)

This shot 2.5 seconds @3200 ISO processed at HDR (brightens the core and diminishes the tail extension)
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-rMm6hhf/0/da32961a/M/i-rMm6hhf-M.jpg) (https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-358cgw/i-rMm6hhf/A)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-x6v9Bnh/0/0e0da7e3/XL/i-x6v9Bnh-XL.jpg) (https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-358cgw/i-x6v9Bnh/A)
Title: Re: Comet Neowise
Post by: Dinusaur on July 21, 2020, 03:08:30 pm
Those are great photos. I went out on Monday night, the sky became clear after 10:30 and got to see the comet below Big Dipper. Fumbled with camera setting in the dark and managed to get a few decent shots despite all the wrong settings. Bird photography is lot simpler than astro photography.