Comet Holmes Image

So hot off the press this one’s burning 🙂

The data was captured on the 30th October 2007 and Noel managed to squeeze in the processing between a pile of other work he has at the moment, and produced this image.  Awesome!

Comet Holmes is a regular visitor with periodicity 6.9 years, but on this return it underwent a massive increase in brightness that took it from a completely invisible (to the naked eye) magnitude 17, to something approaching magnitude 3 which is the brightness of the nearby stars in Perseus.

The Sky 90 at f#4.5 with the SXVF-M25C one-shot colour camera was used to capture 130 subs at 1-minute per sub.  But the data was stacked in two different ways! 

Because the comet moves at a slightly different rate to the stars, one data set was stacked with the comet as the reference point (giving a stationary comet and trailing stars) and the other data set was stacked with reference to the stars (giving stationary stars and a blurred comet). 

The two data sets were then combined to give the stationary comet sitting in a stationary star field.

Not much of a tail apparent, but a beautiful and rare object to capture all the same.

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