Damian Peach – Imaging Comets Course. 20th August 2016.

by on , under Astronomy Blog

On Saturday the 20th of August I attended a masterclass on Imaging Comets, by the one and only Damian Peach.
His comet images are just as spectacular as his planetary webcam images.
On arrival I was shown around Steve Knight’s observatory, perched on the side of the canal. IMAG1215

After this great start to the day it was onto the main course itself, watching a master at work.

Damian uses remote telescopes such as iTelescope to take his images.

He demonstrated how, using various imaging software, he composites the raw comet images to produce his wonderful masterpieces.

A great day. And I think I learnt a lot.

So when I got home, I just had to have a dabble using some of the techniques he showed us to see if I had.
I used an image of comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2, taken on the 6th of February 2015.

This was my original image I obtained from the data.
Note how the stars have trailed as the comet moved across the sky.
Picture saved with settings embedded.

Using the technique Damian showed us I composited a comet stack and a star stack together.

This produces an image where both the comet and the stars are still, so no movement is discernible.
Although not quite perfect, it shows that, even at my age, you can still learn a heck of a lot.
And there is still a heck of a lot more to learn.

Picture saved with settings embedded.

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