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Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Contains:  M 108, NGC 3556, The star Merak (βUMa)
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Comet Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak approaching Messiers 97 and 108, 


            Tony Cook
Comet Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak approaching Messiers 97 and 108
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Comet Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak approaching Messiers 97 and 108

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Televue TV-85  ·  ASA N10 astrograph

Imaging cameras: canon 450D

Mounts: 10 Micron 1000 HPS

Focal reducers: TeleVue TRF-2008 0.8x  ·  ASA 3" Wynne Corrector 0.95x

Software: Russle Croman GradientXTerminator  ·  Noel Carbonni Astrotools  ·  Kolor Autopano Pro  ·  Mike Unsold Images Plus  ·  Photoshop CS 2

Dates:April 25, 2016March 21, 2017March 23, 2017

84x300" ISO800
48x600" ISO800

Integration: 15.0 hours

Darks: ~20

Flats: ~25

Flat darks: ~25

Avg. Moon age: 21.79 days

Avg. Moon phase: 52.06%

Basic astrometry details job: 1532961

RA center: 11h 8' 22"

DEC center: +55° 25' 26"

Pixel scale: 2.119 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -179.138 degrees

Field radius: 2.045 degrees

Resolution: 4674x5144

Locations: Dark Sky Site, Kirby Malzeard, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Data source: Traveller


Charles Messier was a 18th century comet hunter, Messier created his catalogue of objects to identify things in the night sky that were not comets. I think he might appreciate the juxtaposition here :) .

This 4 frame mosaic shows comet 41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak on the night of 21st March 2017.

The image was created from 3 different imaging sessions:

1. 21st March 2017 - TV85/Reducer used to image the comet using ~34 x 5 minute unguided exposures to limit comet motion blurring. Approx 3 hours of the integration.

2. 23rd March 2017 - TV85/Reducer used to image a wider background in 4 overlapping frames using 12 x 10 minute unguided exposures in each framing to go deeper and fill up the rather sparse star field and capture M97, M108 and beta ursae majoris (Merak) with space around them. Approx 8 hours of the integration.

Field centers:

A. 11h 12m 40.6s +55:02:56
B. 11h 05m 32.2s +55:02:56
C. 11h 05m 40.5s +56:19:46
D. 11h 12m 40.3s +56:19:46

3. 25th April 2016 - ASA N10 astrograph to get M97 and M108 at higher resolution at 1.1" per pixel. This was 50 x 5 mins (approx 4 hours) of the integration from an image session taken the year before.

A 4th session repeating the mosaic with 4 x 15 x 1 minute exposures and a diffusion filter (1 hour total) to capture star colour was not used due to mosaic construction and overlay complexity (need to rethink how to do this). Used software tactics to extract star colour instead.

The 4 backgrounds regions where individually calibrated, aligned and stacked. Sky gradients were removed and matching background levels set before using AutoPano Pro to build the final background mosaic. The comet and M97 and M108 were composited and blended into the mosaic using uncalibrated guide frames from the pre-stacked image set



Tony Cook
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Sky plot

Sky plot


Comet Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak approaching Messiers 97 and 108, 


            Tony Cook

In these public groups

Cloudy Nights
Comets Imaging