GALLERY OF SPACE:
I just finished editing these photos that I took all by myself with my new CCD camera and
a friend's Celestron 8" SCT telescope with clock drive! These are the first astrophotos that I've taken in years...
well, more accurately, in decades! And my first digital astro-photos ever. I'm so excited. They're not great,
but I'm only just learning how to use the camera. Plus, I didn't spend the time necessary to properly align the
telescope for long exposures.
With your naked eye, what you see looks much like a jellyfish without tentacles: Very smooth curve on the left side
swooping around to the "back" (bottom-right), where it gets diffuse - the starts of a tail, methinks! Anyhow, the
jellyfish has a sort of bubble-within-a-bubble shape, the outer bubble not quite as bright as the inner, so you can
see it glowing within. At the core blazes the comet, itself, very bright in this image (not quite as much with the unaided eyeball).
I began my education by using Mars because it was so bright that I could use Live mode rather than waiting for an exposure
to show up. But it was so much fun, despite the 20°F (with wind chill) weather. Oh, and my fingers only now have warmed
up; at some point not long after these shots, my fingers could no longer accurately type on the keyboard because they had
lost all feeling (ever tried typing on a laptop while wearing gloves?).
Oh, and here's where you can find the comet during November 2007 through the end of the year. It's really easy to find with your naked eye any time, say, an hour or two after sunset to very late in the night (obviously). The comet is as bright as the two nearest stars in Perseus, and more diffuse. In a binocular or low-power 'scope (like the finders on mine), it's clearly a ball of gas and dust rather than a star):
PS: Mars looks gorgeous right now! It's the brightest thing in the sky, and using my 10" telescope with a dash of patience,
I caught glimpses of dark surface detail every so often. Oh, and it's in almost-full gibbous phase.
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