Comet 17P/Holmes – Deep Image

Now that 17P/Holmes is developing something of a tail, I’ve been keen to get a deeper image than that of a few nights ago (that showed the core & initial coma only). Whilst having our Guy Faulkes night bonfire, the skies cleared out. So after some family comet viewing through the C6, I changed for my 400mm Canon lens & started imaging. The skies clouded over again at about 1am 06/11/07 UST, by then I had captured almost 4 hours of exposures, here’s the image …

17PHolmesnov5tidy1b   Click image for larger view …

This image shows the Comet, from the core, right through its layers of coma and out to the tail, which is now developing beautifully. The image uses different length exposures to capture details with vastly different luminosity, as detailed below:

 8 x 30s           240
 1 x 90s             90
15 x 121s     1815
75 x 151s   11325
 3 x 242s         726

This gives a total integration time of 3 hours 56 minutes & 36 seconds. Software used to stack & process the subs, included: Iris, PixInsight, Image Analyzer, Photoshop & Lightroom. Different processings of the data were undertaken and these were amalgamated via layering in Photoshop. Initial processing in Iris included correction with 10 flats, 5 flat darks & 15 darks; the corrected & stacked images were binned 2×2 in Iris before output to PixInsight.

On a note of scale, the diameter of this comet’s coma is now reported to exceed that of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth. In contrast, the actual solid comet core is only a little over 3 kilometers across.

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  • Ed

    November 7, 2007 at 3:24 am Reply

    That’s fantastic. Combining the shots like that adds tremendously to that image. Great job.

  • Dusty

    November 8, 2007 at 12:51 am Reply

    I think that is the best image of that comet I have seen. What an amazing image. Nicely done.

  • Tuugii

    November 8, 2007 at 5:41 pm Reply

    AnnMarie, that is an awesome result! I had just posted an aggressive processing on 1hr data, but you got here a wonderful color data, 4hr worth exposure really had paid off!

  • Wim

    November 9, 2007 at 10:41 pm Reply

    Dear Ann Marie,

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful image of a very special and interesting comet. It is really an homage to the discovery of this same object now 115 years ago. I enjoyed very much visiting your webspace.

    Kind regards, Wim

  • zippy

    November 11, 2007 at 2:08 am Reply

    yes, thanks alot! very nice job. thanks for sharing.
    loved looking at your ‘other’ work, and deep space photos, too.

  • Robert

    November 13, 2007 at 2:39 am Reply

    Amazing picture. Your photo is better than any other I’ve seen showing amazing detail, VERY well done!

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