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Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on the 20th December 2014

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on the 20th December 2014

Comet-C2014-Q2-(Lovejoy)---comet-align-median-DBE

TheĀ intrepid Aussie comet hunter, Terry Lovejoy has done it again by finding another spectacular comet. His C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) comet turned in to an amazing naked eye comet in 2012, will this one do similar? At the moment Q2 is only showing a hairline tail visible in photographs even though it’s nucleus is very bright.

The image above is a photograph I took of comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on the 17th December 2014. It’s a colour image from my 6D DSLR, a series of 10 exposures each 3 minutes in length at 2500ISO.

The new comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is currently naked eye visible, at about magnitude 5.9. It is currently located almost directly between the bright stars SiriusĀ and Canopus, putting it in a perfect position for viewing and photography throughout the night (in the southern hemisphere at least). The below image shows where you can find it on the 17th December 2014 at 9:30pm AWST:

Comet-C2014-Q2-(Lovejoy)---finder-2014-12-17

Astrophotography Comparison

I’ve been having some more great fun out and about doing astrophotography. It continually amazes me how much easier it is to take nightscapes and wide field astrophotography with silhouettes now than even 5 years ago in 2008 when I was starting to accumulate some nice silhouette nightscapes. It explains the boon in nightscape photography in the last year or two from photography enthusiasts everywhere.

Below is an example of what I mean. The 2008 photograph was the one good result from a whole weekend trip to the country, hours of set up time aligning the mount, setting up autoguiding, organising dew heaters and laptop equipment, lugging large telescope, mount, and tripod up to a suitable site near camp, etc. The other image for comparison is from last night, it is a single 15 second exposure and I didn’t even bother getting the portable tracking mount out. The 2008 photograph might arguably be better still but the different is small in comparison to what 15 seconds of exposure would have achieved in 2008.

In fact, I don’t even recall the term “nightscape” from 2008. I may be wrong, but I only recall that terminology coming about in the last year or two. That says something about how much things have changed.

Comparison of astrophotography in 2008 vs 2013

And here is the image from last night:

Spire In The Sky

 

New product: Morning Sky with Fog

I am slowly working my way through photographs I have added to my previous blog over the last couple of years, making them available as products on this new website. This photograph of the morning sky with fog is one of my favourite from the last two years. The vibrant blue, soft sunrise hues, sharp silhouettes and the sky filled with so many interesting objects! Taken in 2012.

View the product page for Morning Sky with Fog Panoramic by clicking here.

Early Morning Sky with Fog (with Pleiades, Jupiter, Venus, Orion and Sirius)

Early Morning Sky with Fog (with Pleiades, Jupiter, Venus, Orion and Sirius)