Home > Uncategorized > Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10)

Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10)

Comets are difficult objects to capture and process, but the good ones are worth the effort. Catalina sits in the pre-dawn skies right now.  I’ve gotten up at 4am two mornings in a row to get this shot.  Yesterday, I captured it with Arcturus in the same frame, but I underestimated the comet’s dimness, so the final image was fairly dim and noisy. This morning, I doubled the exposure time with better results.

Catalina LRBG 3

LRGB imaging is not ideal for comets: even with 2-minute exposures, there is shift between them.  DeepSkyStacker comet alignment mode is great, but the color channels don’t quite line up perfectly. Next time, I’ll use a DSLR.

Image data:

  • Exposures: 52×2 min L, 18×2 R, 16×2 G, 17×2 B
  • Telescopes: Two William Optics Star 71s (360mm f/5)
  • Cameras: SBIG ST-8300M and QSI 583wsg, 2×2 binned
  • Mount: Takahashi EM200
  • Guiding: QHY 5L-II mono, guided using PHD2
  • Conditions:  light wind, nearby moonlight
  • Processing: DeepSkyStacker -> PixInsight -> Photoshop
  • Date: Jan 3, 2016
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