Saturday, November 16, 2013
Comet Imaging Session - November 17, 2013
I together with fellow ALPers Andrew Ian Chan and Iah Serna went to Caliraya, Laguna to try to image Comet 2013 R1 Lovejoy and Comet 2012 S1 ISON under dark skies. We went to the site shortly passed midnight as no point going there early as there is an almost full Moon night. The weather was partly cloudy and we had a hard time getting a good polar alignment as Polaris plays hide and seek with us the entire session.:( It was almost passed 3:45am before we got some thinning of the clouds near zenith for us to image Comet 2013 R1 Lovejoy through small clearings. Unfortunately, since there was several short instances of short burst of moderate drizzles, the soil was a bit soft and both of us had problems of star drift for longer exposure. From my several image of this comet, most are trailed bad and was only able to get a short 30 sec decent shot of the comet. :( Comet Lovejoy was imaged using Canon EOS 500D DSLR on Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f5.6 at 30 sec exposure at ISO1600 on Kenko Sky Memo-R tracker. As for Comet 2012 S1 ISON, the clouds did not cooperate with us till it was around 5:15am already thus exposure are mostly washout and useless IMHO. Nevertheless, we are still happy that we were able to still observe the 2 bright comets. We were also able to see 2 nice rainbows namely one Moonbow and another good bright full rainbow as we were heading home in the morning along the road.