Comet NEOWISE – Photobombers!

It’s been clear the last few nights, so I’ve been out every night to capture Comet NEOWISE as it moves across the sky.  My pictures have been photobombed by an airplane (alternating red and green lights are the airplane give-away) and a satellite!  My satellite tracking tool suggests the satellite photobomber was Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO) 2.

Camera Geek Info (airplane photobomb, comet in upper right)

  • Canon EOS 60D in manual mode set at f/5.6, 15 second exposure, ISO 1000
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens, set at 300 mm, manual focus
  • Cable release
  • iOptron SkyTracker with ballhead
  • Tripod

Camera Geek Info (satellite photobomb, comet in-line with satellite, below and to the left)

  • Canon EOS 60D in manual mode set at f/4, 6 second exposure, ISO 1000
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens, set at 70 mm, manual focus
  • Cable release
  • iOptron SkyTracker with ballhead
  • Tripod

Comet NEOWISE – August 5, 2020

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After my failed attempt earlier this week, I was ready to spot NEOWISE and knew what the surrounding star patterns looked like.

It is a much dimmer object now than it was two weeks ago, and in my camera, it no longer has a tail.  But it was a good chance to test the “how dim an object can I see?” question.  Fuzzy green NEOWISE is visible at magnitude 6.9; fuzzy M53 is visible at magnitude 8.3.  The stars around them range from magnitude 6.1 to 9.9.

A friend suggested I look into the white balance for my astrophotography pictures, so I did a little research on good settings.  The top picture used a custom white balance of 3500K.  I like that the sky is blue instead of gray-pink-yellow, but I may do more experimenting to find the best color.  What do you think?

Camera Geek Info (both)

  • Canon EOS 60D in manual mode set at f/5.6, 2 second exposure, ISO 6400
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens, set at 300 mm, manual focus
  • Cable release
  • Tripod

Comet NEOWISE Failure – August 3, 2020

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We’ve had a lot of rain recently, so I haven’t gotten a chance to see Comet NEOWISE in a while.  It was finally clear earlier this week, so I went out for a look.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t familiar with the part of the sky it was in, so I didn’t quite get it.  Lesson learned: study the sky beforehand!

Happily, it looks like the weather might cooperate this week and give me another chance.

Camera Geek Info

  • Canon EOS 60D in manual mode set at f/4, 2 second exposure, ISO 3200
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens, set at 70 mm, manual focus
  • Cable release
  • Tripod

Comet Neowise – July 21, 2020

CometNeowise20200721-3

My husband and I drove to our favorite spot to view the horizon twice in the last two weeks to look for Comet Neowise C/2020 F3, with no luck finding it.  It was too low to the horizon in the direction of the bright lights of Houston.

On our one clear night this past week, I tried to spot it from our driveway.  Success!  I could not spy it naked eye.  With binoculars, it is a fuzzy green blob.  With the camera, it has a lovely tail.

As it moves away from us, it is getting higher in the sky, but dimmer.  I am looking forward to trying to spot it again the next time we don’t have clouds.

Camera Geek Info (image above)

  • Canon EOS 60D in manual mode set at f/4, 4 second exposure, ISO 6400
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens, set at 70 mm, manual focus
  • Cable release
  • Tripod

 

CometNeowise20200721-1

Camera Geek Info

  • Canon EOS 60D in manual mode set at f/4, 3.2 second exposure, ISO 6400
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens, set at 70 mm, manual focus
  • Cable release
  • Tripod

CometNeowise20200721-2

Camera Geek Info

  • Canon EOS 60D in manual mode set at f/5.6, 3.2 second exposure, ISO 6400
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens, set at 300 mm, manual focus
  • Cable release
  • Tripod

Comet Neowise – July 10, 2020

CometNeowise20200710-1-largeCometNeowise20200710-3-medCometNeowise20200710-2-small

My husband and I got up at 4:15 AM (!) on Friday to drive to our favorite spot with a good view towards the horizon to try to spot Comet Neowise C/2020 F3.  We were not disappointed!  While not naked eye visible, the comet and its tail were easily visible in binoculars and through the camera lens.  We enjoyed a good look at it and the planets – Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were all visible – until the sky started to grow light.  Then we enjoyed driving through McDonald’s for what my father-in-law would call a “naughty breakfast” (not on the diet!).

The comet should now be visible in the night sky, and we’re going out to take another look!

If you want to try to find it, too, you can find a sky map here.  Happy hunting!

Camera Geek Info (comet and horizon)

  •             Canon EOS 60D in manual mode set at f/4, 1 second exposure, ISO 640
  •             Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens, set at 100 mm, manual focus
  •             Cable release
  •             Tripod

Camera Geek Info (comet and clouds)

  •             Canon EOS 60D in manual mode set at f/4, 1 second exposure, ISO 1000
  •             Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens, set at 70 mm, manual focus
  •             Cable release
  •             Tripod

Camera Geek Info (close up)

  •             Canon EOS 60D in manual mode set at f/5.6, 1 second exposure, ISO 3200
  •             Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens, set at 300 mm, manual focus
  •             Cable release
  •             Tripod