Thursday, January 26, 2023

Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF

Comet photo taken 1/22/2023. Facerock shot was 1/21/2023.

Went out to Joshua Tree last weekend. Took a short hike and some post-sunset night sky shots. Then came back early Sunday morning to catch Coment C/2022 E3 ZTF. My first time using a telescope I bought back in July for possible astrophotography. I already own an Orion Sirius mount, which is plenty to handle the 80mm f/7 refractor. I added a .8x reducer a month or so later, for wider, faster collection of photons.

Not particularly skilled with my technique. I eyeballed polar alignment with Polaris, set up my telescope, then scanned with my binoculars to find ZTF. After I found it with the binoculars, I tried without success to point my telescope on target. The equatorial mount is not very good at sweeping an area, and I didn't have an optical finder attached to my telescope.

So after about twenty minutes, I gave up, swapped my dslr for the eyepiece, and starting taking 30 second exposures of the general area, to find it photographically. After another twenty or so minutes, I finally did find it. I centered, and started shooting off exposures of 30-120 seconds, mostly at ISO 1600. Not technically good shots, but I was satisfied.

Later that morning, over breakfast, I downloaded some shots to my phone and edited the .jpeg in Lightroom for mobile. Best result here.

Also with this post is a shot I took at Facerock, the previous night. Thirty seconds at ISO 1600, 20mm f/1.8 lens. I've shot here before, and I like face!

Despite being only about 1/4 mile from the road (maybe 1/2 mile walking), it's been empty the last few times I've shot. Most folks crowd near the road, or on the other side of the road, at Skull Rock.

Click on the photos for larger versions.

I may post some daytime shots from the Split Rock trail, later.

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