Home > Uncategorized > Comet Garrad (C/2009 P1) Animation Video

Comet Garrad (C/2009 P1) Animation Video

Comets move across the sky too slowly to notice while watching, but enough that the motion over a night is clearly apparent.  What better way to see this than with a time-lapse video?

Comet Garradd was discovered in 2009, and it has gradually brightened since then to the point where it is now visible in binoculars in the constellation Sagitta.  It’s still a small and dim comet, but it should brighten through next spring.  The video here shows the view through an 80mm f/6.3 telescope over the night of August 30th from my light polluted skies in central NJ. The field of view is about 2 degrees wide, about the width of four full moons.   The video starts at 9:55pm, when the comet is close to the zenith (straight above), and by 4am, it is lost in the trees across the street from me. Every three seconds in the video corresponds to an hour of time.

The equipment used:

TMB 80 SS triplet refractor, f=503mm on a CGEM mount.  Canon 450D XSi modded camera.  Autoguided with Meade DSI through a 50mm finder with PHD software.

4 minute exposures at ISO1600, calibrated in DeepSkyStacker, batch processed in Photoshop CS3, compiled into video with Windows Movie Maker.

The nice blue-green color of the comet doesn’t show well in the video, but a stacked image aligned on the comet shows the colors nicely:

Comet Garradd, 86x4min, aligned on comet

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