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DPChallenge Forums >> Challenge Suggestions >> COMET Side Challenge
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07/16/2020 10:29:44 AM · #1
Seriously, people? Has no one photographed the comet?

I did last night.

I think we need a comet side challenge, but I also think we need some tutoring by scalvert or someone else who knows a lot about astrophotography!

It's visible about 40 minutes after sunset. It will be rising higher in the sky for the next 4-5 days.

As I see it: get shooting advice from our experts before you go out. Bring your photos back. Get processing advice (that's the hard part for me. I have no clue what I'm doing for the processing. I took the shots, but how do I make them as spectacular as I can? Some people stack multiple photos. How do you do that? Etc.

It's a learning site -- let's learn!!

Message edited by author 2020-07-16 23:50:42.
07/16/2020 11:42:30 AM · #2
Why not a side challenge?

PS I did not read your entry in full (it happens!) To be fair to those of us who cannot see the comet (it is behind a mountain for me) it would not be OK to run this a challenge but I am all for learning about shooting the night sky in a side challenge, maybe widen the scope beyond the comet to make it more general and get higher participation.

Message edited by author 2020-07-16 12:30:56.
07/16/2020 12:29:55 PM · #3
I can't see any good reason to make this an official challenge, Wendy. Your stated goal is best accomplished with a side challenge. Go for it!
07/16/2020 01:32:53 PM · #4
I like the idea of a side challenge. I've been planning on shooting it, now that it is an evening sky feature and will be rising above the horizon during the remainder of the month.
07/16/2020 02:19:21 PM · #5
In US mid-alantic, which direction do you look to see it?
07/16/2020 02:19:49 PM · #6
Originally posted by marnet:

... those of us who cannot see the comet (it is behind a mountain for me) ...

You need a really tall periscope! :-)
07/16/2020 02:39:33 PM · #7
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by marnet:

... those of us who cannot see the comet (it is behind a mountain for me) ...

You need a really tall periscope! :-)

Or drill a tunnel ;)
07/16/2020 02:42:16 PM · #8
Originally posted by glad2badad:

In US mid-alantic, which direction do you look to see it?


In the evening sky it is almost directly Northwest. You want to start looking about 45 minutes after sunset.
07/16/2020 04:28:38 PM · #9
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by glad2badad:

In US mid-alantic, which direction do you look to see it?


In the evening sky it is almost directly Northwest. You want to start looking about 45 minutes after sunset.

Thanks!
07/16/2020 07:41:15 PM · #10
It's below the pan of the big dipper. I downloaded the app Stellarium -- then you can use your phone to scan the sky and find where it should be.

We couldn't see it with the naked eye, but definitely could with the camera or the binoculars.

I found it by pointing my camera where I thought it should be and taking a photo -- and voila!! There it was!!

I did a bit of searching and I used my 90mm fixed lens, wide open (2.8) ISO 800, (I think, I'll have to go check), and around 2.5sec.

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I'm a bit confused, because it says you start getting streaks with a full frame camera after 2.5sec. Yet on my cropped sensor, I thought I had about 20 seconds before the stars were moving...?? I would have liked a bit more time instead of turning up my ISO
07/16/2020 08:27:03 PM · #11
Originally posted by vawendy:

I'm a bit confused, because it says you start getting streaks with a full frame camera after 2.5sec. Yet on my cropped sensor, I thought I had about 20 seconds before the stars were moving...?? I would have liked a bit more time instead of turning up my ISO

I may have to deal with star-trails -- my camera at ISO 800 would be so noisy you couldn't see the real stars.

Very nice picture though -- thanks for the tips!
07/16/2020 10:20:42 PM · #12
I need to figure out stacking. The article I saw said the guy stacked 6 2 sec shots.
07/16/2020 10:53:47 PM · #13
There is/used to be a free program called Registax just for that. Otherwise, I think you just line up the images in layers and use (I think) Lighten or Screen Mode to blend all of the upper layers.
07/16/2020 11:08:39 PM · #14
Found this article -- astrophotography stacking software

I downloaded the Sequator one. It's pretty easy to do a quick start on it. I need to try again -- I forgot to turn off image stabilization. I know I can turn it off on the lens. I assume I need to turn off the in body stabilization, as well...
07/16/2020 11:09:42 PM · #15
Hey -- can someone change the name of this thread to comet side challenge? I'll redo the original post to reflect it.
07/16/2020 11:29:26 PM · #16
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I can't see any good reason to make this an official challenge, Wendy. Your stated goal is best accomplished with a side challenge. Go for it!


+2 (sorry!)

07/17/2020 12:20:42 AM · #17
Originally posted by vawendy:

Hey -- can someone change the name of this thread to comet side challenge? I'll redo the original post to reflect it.

Done!
07/17/2020 02:52:38 PM · #18
Here's one...

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The above is a kinda poor excuse for a comet image, LOL. It's one frame of about 20 that I took last evening. I haven't had time to stack the series, and frankly I want to re-shoot it anyhow (over-exposed the core a bit).
07/17/2020 03:04:57 PM · #19
I am not that lucky, here in NJ we are getting clouds on and off :(

yours is amazing shot!

Originally posted by kirbic:

Here's one...

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The above is a kinda poor excuse for a comet image, LOL. It's one frame of about 20 that I took last evening. I haven't had time to stack the series, and frankly I want to re-shoot it anyhow (over-exposed the core a bit).
07/17/2020 03:07:45 PM · #20
Originally posted by pgirish007:

I am not that lucky, here in NJ we are getting clouds on and off :(

yours is amazing shot!


Thanks!
Hopefully you get some clear skies soon... the comet should be a good target for a while yet, in fact probably better in the next few days as it gets higher in the evening sky.
07/18/2020 12:17:22 AM · #21
While it's been mostly cloudy here, I've had several opportunities to shoot the comet, including a closeup that I haven't been able to process correctly yet. Still a few days left to catch it!
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07/18/2020 06:28:19 AM · #22
Originally posted by scalvert:

While it's been mostly cloudy here, I've had several opportunities to shoot the comet, including a closeup that I haven't been able to process correctly yet. Still a few days left to catch it!
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I'd love to hear your process from beginning to end! What are your difficulties? What do your originals look like? How do you get rid of noise without losing clarity?
07/18/2020 07:24:40 AM · #23
Cool shot! it looks like tonight it is going to be clear so will head out and get some shots :)

Originally posted by scalvert:

While it's been mostly cloudy here, I've had several opportunities to shoot the comet, including a closeup that I haven't been able to process correctly yet. Still a few days left to catch it!
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07/18/2020 11:42:46 AM · #24
Clouded out last night here, Sunday evening looking to be the next real chance.
07/18/2020 12:36:28 PM · #25
I've barely been able to see it with the naked eye, but thankfully the camera can see it! I took this particular shot as a train was heading over the trestle... it was kinda cool because it illuminated the bridge a bit.

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Message edited by author 2020-07-18 12:37:49.
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