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Comet Lovejoy, Pliades, Aurora Borealis
Camera: Samsung GX-20 Photo Location: 100 km north of the Arctic circle ISO: 800 Shutter Speed: 6s Aperture: F1.7 
Posted By: Smirf, 01-29-2015, 04:33 AM

I've been observing and taking photos of comet Lovejoy during several occasions the last weeks. I'm using an aging Samsung GX20 ( the twin of Pentax K20D) with rather poor high ISO capabilities so don't expect what you have perhaps seen NASAs Astronomy Photo of the day site. Nonetheless some of the shots I'm quite happy with so I thought I'd share them witih you guys. For the first two I used the SMC Pentax-M F1.7 50mm lens and for the third the Takumar F2.5 135mm lens. The two first were taken with a shutter speed of 8 seconds and the latter 6 seconds.

The comet is the green blub in the middle of the frame.

The green mass to the right is the northern lights. It was a truly amazing display of the northern lights just out of the frame. You can sort of hint the comet's tail in this photo.

A lot of noise going on but I like how the composition turned out with the Pliades and Lovejoy in the corners and the shooting star in the centre.

FIY: Omar_Sharif is my username at astrobin.
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01-30-2015, 07:59 AM   #2
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Hello Smirf,

I also chased Lovejoy with my Pentax K-5 and an Olympus OM-D E5 (first picture).

The first picture results from a stack of images of 4 secs exposure time with 50 mm focal length, stacked with freeware DeepSkyStacker.

The Pictures 2 and 3 are made with O-GPS and Pentax K-5 at 200 mm, 15 secs, 15-25 pichtures stacked with DeepSkyStacker. The last one is a singlephoto at 200 mm F2.8, 15 seconds.

Using no tracking system I recommend to pull ISO high e.g. 1.600, open the aperture as far as possible, take exposure time to 500/focal length and shoot a heap of photos at a time (20-200) in Raw.

Then use a free stacking program to ged rid of earth-rotation and noise to get out impressive photos of the major celestial deep sky objects (e.g. Orion, Andromeda etc). Orion nebula is on the last pic.

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