EPOD: Comet Holmes

Wow! We have had our image of the Holmes Comet selected for the Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD)!  Here is what they say about the image:

The photo above shows an emerald glow surrounding the nucleus of Comet Homes, as photographed on October 30 in the constellation of Perseus. It was taken from the New Forest Observatory in England. This peculiar comet suddenly increased in brightness from a magnitude 12 (telescopic target only) to a magnitude of almost 2 (easily visible with the unaided eye, even in urban areas). Astronomers believe it exploded as it moved away from the Sun, but if so, it’s not known exactly what triggered the explosion. At its brightest, Comet Holmes was almost as bright as the brightest stars in Perseus

We’ve posted about this before but I’ll repost the imaging data because Noel has produced a great result with this image:

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.

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