Thursday, November 15, 2007

T-Mail: Comet Holmes

From my friend and local photographer whiz, Shreveport's Terry Atwood...

"Here are two images I shot of Comet Holmes showing what light pollution from the city does to astro photos. The first image was taken from my driveway in Shreveport near Youree/Kings Hwy. The second images was taken atop Winding Stair Mountain in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas near Boxley.

"Both images are taken with the same lens and exposure time: a 30-second exposure using a 300mm f2.8 lens with an Exposure Index (ASA) of 800."

The top photo was taken Nov. 6, the other on Nov. 10.

TO SEE THE COMMENT ... again, this is from the T-Mail bag, from Terry Atwood, today...
The comet is between the sideways "M" of Cassiopeia which is overhead about 9:30 pm and the Pleadies (Seven Sisters) to the right. It is next to the brightest star in that area (Alpha Persei or "Mirfak"). It is not much to look at for the novice viewer. It looks like a round fuzzy star and does not have a long tail like Comet Hale-Bopp had a few years ago, or Comet Hyakataki of about ten years ago (which had a tail about 100-degrees long--about 2/3 of the overhead sky). Visually it looks about half the size of the full moon, even though physically it is larger than the sun. I can see it from my driveway here in town in Shreveport if I look carefully. It is easy to see in any binoculars.