Flintstone Stargazing

November 3, 2007

A great day for stargazing

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Comets, Messier Objects — Tags: , , — Ed @ 9:38 pm

Today I was able to get out my telescope twice – once in the morning, since I got up early, and this evening as well. Both times, the sky was beautiful. This morning, in addition to the Moon, I also took a shot of Comet 17P/Holmes, my favorite target of late.

Comet 17P/Holmes on 11/3/2007 (morning)
Comet 17P/Holmes this morning

I also took a shot of it this evening:

Comet 17P/Holmes on 11/3/2007 (evening)
Comet 17P/Holmes this evening

You can see that it’s continuing to expand and move across the sky, but the most obvious thing (other than the color shift – I forgot to adjust the color balance this morning) is that the image from this morning appears upside-down from my other shots. That’s because I’m normally taking my pictures of the comet in the early evening between 8 and 9. At that time, it’s in the low Northeast. In the morning, it’s in the Northwest since it has crossed the sky with the stars during the night.

I also had some time to get a couple other images this evening. The first one was of M34, an open cluster Messier Object that is in the constellation Perseus, the same constellation that Comet 17P/Holmes is in. This also happened to be a Messier object that I hadn’t imaged before. Here’s the image I got:

M34 on 11/3/07
M34 on 11/3/07

The final image i took was of M16, the Eagle Nebula. I’ve imaged this before, but thought i might have another go at it. Here’s the result:

M16-Eagle nebula on 11/3/07
M16-Eagle nebula on 11/3/07

I think it’s much better than my previous attempt, but I’m not super pleased with it. I’ll get back to it another time and see if I can get better results.

Overall, a really great day for stargazing.

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