Monday, July 20, 2020

More Comet NEOWISE c/2020 F4

One of my more detailed single images from the current apparition. I took this one on Saturday night (July 18), about 9:38pm, on Las Vegas Blvd, way north, about 6 miles "north" of U.S. 93. U.S. 93 is "The Great Basin Highway." It leaves I-15 and heads up towards Caliente, Alamo, and, eventually, near Great Basin National Park. Meanwhile, I-15 continues northeast, towards Mesquite, St. George, etc. There's a Love's truck stop at this intersection. From past experience, I knew there used to be a frontage road that paralleled I-15 from here and continued to the northeast. It's changed since my last drive, so now the road is more nicely paved. After about six miles, a dirt road crosses the paved road, and there was a wide clearing on right side of Las Vegas Blvd, that probably gets used for camping and what not. I think this is the street view from Google. Stopped there, and gazed and photographed.

Inexplicably, someone in a pickup truck pulled off about fifteen minutes after we did, and idled about twenty yards behind me, with his headlights on. Didn't seem to affect the photos much, but definitely affects your night vision. I don't understand how clueless people can be.

I brought my Bushnell "Astroscan" knock-off (a 4 1/2" rich field reflector, shaped like a pear) and 8x42 binoculars, and my Nikon D750. Astronomical twilight ended around 9:30pm, so I aimed to be there at "maximum darkness," but with the comet at least somewhat high. The first picture posted was taken at about 9:38pm. The second, at about 9:16pm. Both shot at ISO 1600 with my Nikon D750. First shot is with an 85mm lens at f/2, 13 seconds. The second in the post was with a 20mm lens at f/2, 10 seconds. Modest Lightroom processing.

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