Comet C/2006 M4 SWAN

Image & Animation - October 21, 2006

Ricketts Glen

by Gary Honis

For more recent (10/26) Animation and Images of Comet Swan CLICK HERE.

I selected this site for imaging since it has low light pollution to the West and Northwest and good horizonal views in those directions. Cloud cover did not clear out until 8:30 pm. The comet is low in the western sky at this time. Skies stayed clear allowing imaging of the comet until it set behind trees at 10:20 pm.

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. For processing I used Images Plus Sigma Clip Median to combine 31 two-minute exposures with alignment centered on the comet nucleus. This combine method helped remove trailed stars, and jet and satellite streaks. For the static starfield, I then layered that image with a Sigma Clip Median combine of 5 two-minute exposures with alignment centered on the starfield. Photoshop and NEAT Image Pro were also used for image processing. Shot at ISO 1600.

Comet Swan - Image:

I made an animation of the comet using the two-minute exposures I took over a 1 hour 40 minute period (between 8:38 pm and 10:19 pm) until the comet set behind trees. During this period there were many jet and satellite passes. The cropped center portion of the images taken was used for the animated GIF which was reduced in size for web display and is 3.4 Meg in size; it may take awhile to load:

Comet Swan - Animation: (large file)

CLICK HERE for images and 3.5 hour animation of Comet Swan on October 26, 2006.

CLICK HERE for an image and animation of Comet Swan on October 15, 2006.

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




Canon Digital Rebel - Canon Digital DSLR - Digital Camera - Canon Digital Rebel XT - Canon Digital Rebel 350 - Canon Digital Rebel 350XT

Astro Imaging with Canon Digital Rebel XT Camera