Comet C/2006 M4 SWAN

October 15, 2006

Ricketts Glen

by Gary Honis

When I arrived at this site to set up to image the comet, there were high clouds in the western sky at sunset. An ice crystal rainbow was testament to the cold evening ahead:

Widefield image taken with Canon 10D:

Closeup image taken with Canon 10D:

I selected this site for imaging since it has low light pollution to the West and Northwest and good horizonal views in those directions. Unfortunately, stubborn high clouds refused to leave while I imaged the comet, which began the evening low in the western sky. These are the clouds that hampered my view of the comet:

Canon 10D DSLR with 18mm lens at f/3.5 with ISO 1600 and 30 second exposure:

Image below was taken unguided with a modified Digital Rebel through Orion ED80 Refractor with Televue .80X Reducer. The ED80 was piggybacked on a 10 inch LX200.

Stack of ten 2-minute exposures at ISO 1600:


After the comet had set, the clouds dissipated of course. Here is a view of the western sky centered on the Hercules Constellation:

Canon 10D DSLR with 18mm lens at f/3.5 with ISO 800 and 30 second exposure:

I made an animation of the comet using the short exposures I took over a 1 hour 15 minute period (between 8:15 pm and 9:30 pm). During this period the comet was obscured by varying layers of high clouds and set behind some tree branches. The cropped center portion of the images taken were used for the animated GIF which is 1 Meg in size:

For detailed directions for converting a Canon Digital Rebel for infrared and astro imaging CLICK HERE.





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Astro Imaging with Canon Digital Rebel XT Camera