Imaging Comet ISON C/2012 S1 with an SBIG ST-10XME

Comet ISON C/2012 S1

Going off of a tip from seasoned astrophotographer, Michael Caligiuri, Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) was in a great position to capture this ancient relic of the solar system in October.  Comet ISON, at this moment, is not visible to the unaided eye.  Starting its journey 10,000 years ago when it broke away from the Oort Cloud out past Neptune, this is its first trip to our inner Solar System. If this comet survives its trip around the Sun, there’s a good chance that it will be incredibly bright and easily visible with the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere. In early December, it will be seen in the morning, low on the horizon to the east-southeast. In late December and early January, it will be visible all night long.  The image above was captured with an SBIG ST-10XME in the wee hours of the morning on October 17th 2013 and represents a 20 minute total exposure through the Luminance, Red, Green, and Blue Astrodon Gen 2 filters.  Mars (to the right) and Regulus (to the left) made this comet a tricky one to capture with a highly sensitive CCD.  Although the composite image is supposed to produce color, I chose to convert the capture into a monochrome image to preserve the details of the comet.

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