Alan Dyer
Image taken:
Sep. 30, 2010
near Cluny, Alberta, Canada
This is the comet now brightening in our sky, Comet Hartley 2 (the cyan-coloured glow at right) near the reddish nebula called the Pacman Nebula, aka NGC 281, in Cassiopeia. The photo was taken on the night of Sept 30/Oct 1, 2010. At that time, in 11x70 binoculars it appeared as a glow fainter and smaller than the nearby star cluster NGC 7789, putting the comet at about 8th magnitude overall and about 10 arc minutes across. The comet is getting brighter and larger as it comes closer to Earth (closest approach on October 20) but is still just a faint diffuse glow requiring large binoculars or a telescope to see. Predicted to be bright enough to see with the naked eye this month, it looks like Hartley is fainter than predicted and will remain a telescopic target. © 2010 Alan Dyer Technical: This is a stack of 4 x 5 minute exposures at ISO 1600 with Canon 5D MkII on 105mm apo refractor at f/4.8 with 0.85x reducer/flattener. Autoguided with Celestron NexGuide. However, image of comet core is from only one exposure to minimize trailing from this fast-moving comet.
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