Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Auriga (Aur)
Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, July 9th, 2020 (Astrotracer), 


Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, July 9th, 2020 (Astrotracer)
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Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, July 9th, 2020 (Astrotracer)

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Pentax SMC Takumar 300mm f/4

Imaging cameras: Pentax K-3 II

Dates:July 9, 2020

Frames: 17x10" ISO400

Integration: 0.0 hours

Avg. Moon age: 19.00 days

Avg. Moon phase: 81.03%

Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 3658971

RA center: 6h 23' 38"

DEC center: +40° 27' 14"

Pixel scale: 5.602 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 39.054 degrees

Field radius: 2.281 degrees

Resolution: 1626x2439

Data source: Traveller


My intention on the morning of July 9 was to get at least 15 minutes on the comet within a window of opportunity spanning perhaps 30.

I actually got barely 3 minutes of immediately usable frames because of the muck near the horizon, a badly positioned cloud bank, a problem choosing the correct ISO (I saturated the comet's nucleus in many shots that I did not include in this stack) and finally the rapidly brightening sky. Light pollution from a city with 1/4 million inhabitants only 10 minutes to the south didn't help.

With such a short total exposure under those conditions, the comet's second, ion tail is just barely visible and only to those who already know it is there.

Tracking was performed internally in the camera using the Astrotracer feature. The lens was stopped down to f/5.8 using a 77mm-to-52mm step-down ring.


Sky plot

Sky plot


Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, July 9th, 2020 (Astrotracer),