Christmas Wonders

Main objects: 46P/Wirtanen, Capella, Messier 45, NGC 1499

Comet Wirtanen with Capella - California Nebula - Pleiades

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The closest distance of the Wirtanen comet from Hungary could be observed under very harsh conditions. The unpredictable and almost always cloudy weather, the light pollution of the full moon was a disturbing factor.

 

On the evening of December 24, 2018, the sky was revealed for a few hours, but unfortunately the crystal clear dark burn could not be enjoyed for a long time because our full moon rose.
 

Taking into account my available tools and circumstances, I decided to capture the comet on a wide-angle shot. I tried to rotate the field of view so that the Pleiades and the California Nebula on it.

 

Due to the disturbing effect of the full moon and light pollution, it was inevitable to process the image more than usual. This, unfortunately, was accompanied by a deterioration in the quality of the picture, but I hope that, despite the disturbing effects, I managed to capture the 2018 comet in a decent way.

 

Next to the comet is the Capella, the brightest star of the Auriga constellation. To the right, the red object is the California Nebula (NGC 1499). This emission nebula belongs to Perseus constellation. The upper right corner of the image is dominated by the open cluster Pleiades (Messier 45) in Taurus.

 

The Wirtanen comet at the time of taking the picture approximately was 5.0 magnitude. With the naked eye it had to have a strong imagination to be seen.

Date:

24/12/2018 17:30 - 18:10 UT

Total exposure time:

32 minutes

Location:

Tápióbicske, Pest, Hungary

Camera:

Canon EOS 1300D (modified)

Lens:

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II

Mount:

Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro GoTo

Guiding:

-

Corrector:

-

Focal ratio, length:

f/3.5; 18 mm

ISO:

200

Light:

16 x 120 s

Dark:

5

Flat:

5

Bias:

5

Processing:

PixInsight, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop

Annotation

gallery/wirt_nl_2400

Name:

46P/Wirtanen

Constellation:

Auriga

Coordinates:

R.A. 05 h 33 m 29 s Dec. +47° 41′ 28″

Type:

Comet

Distance from Sun: 

159 million km

Distance from Earth:

13.8 million km

Apparent size:

Coma: 30'

Brightness:

5.0m

Sidereal period:

5.43 years

Velocity:

37 km/s