Thursday, December 13, 2018

Comet 46/P Wirtanen Imaging Session - December 11, 2018

The sky in the evening was fair and I setup together with my son to try to view and image Comet 46/P Wirtanen which has an apparent bright magnitude of around +3.5 but since this comet is very diffuse and large, the magnitude estimate is rather tricky and real estimates might be like magnitude 6-7 as it is even dimmer than M42 Orion Nebula! After a few minutes of star hopping under the light polluted sky of Manila. We located the area where the comet should be and using a 30 sec exposure using the Canon EOS M6 mirrorless camera with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 set at 400mm f/5.6 mounted on Kenko SKy Memo-R star tracker confirmed the comet! Only the comet's inner nucleus can be imaged with the sky condition we got but we are still happy we were able to locate it. An added bonus is that we both were able to see a bright mag -5 whitish Orionid bolide flashing its way from Orion toward the western horizon. My estimate it traveled about 50 degrees with a light hissing sound. Unfortunately, I was able to expose only 6 frames before the sky got clouded out ending our session.

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