Howard's Astronomical Adventures
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Double Cluster and Comet Hartley

The short period Comet 103P/Hartley cruised by the Double Cluster (NGC869 and NGC884) on Thursday night, October 7th, while I was at the Okie-Tex star party. Having observed it while I was taking pictures I can say this image highlights the comet far more than what one saw with binoculars or a telescope. It was actually difficult to discern while near the double cluster!

Click image for larger version (1440x980, 700kb).

Comet Hartley proved difficult for me to process due to its rapid motion and low surface brightness. This image is the best I can do with my current processing skill, perhaps I can improve it later.

Photograph Information
Date10.07.2010, about 22:30
LocationOkie-Tex Starparty, Kenton, OK
TelescopeAP 130 @ f6 w/field flattener
CameraCanon 5D Mark II, unmodified
ExposureStack of 16, 2.5 minute exposures at ISO 1600 (
NotesAverage transparency, bit windy, temperature around 57°F

RAW conversion, registration and stacking in DeepSkyStacker.
Additional processing in PixInsight LE and Photoshop CS2.


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