Location: Saint John, NB, Canada
Date Time: January 22, 2023 0520-0600hrs
January 27, 2023 2310-2340hrs
February 11, 2023 1940-2015hrs
February 18, 2023 2130-2245hrs
Weather: Jan 22-Slight breeze, very cold, partly cloudy, mostly hazy skies, -8.4C with humidity of 84%. Reported windchill of -15C
Jan27-Slight breeze, very cold, partly cloudy, haze across north eastern horizon, -9C with reported windchill of -15C
Feb11-Slight Breeze, very cold, increasing haze, partly cloudy, -5.8C with 94% humidity.
Feb18-Breezy, very cold, hazy, partly cloudy, -6.2C with 90% humidity.
Equipment: 15x70 binos, Canon Rebel t3 with 18-55mm lens.
Feb18-Canadian Telescopes 80ed/apo with a Canon Rebel attached.
Objective: Jan22-To view and image a reportedly mag 5.5 Comet, said to be in Draco, very high in the South Eastern sky during observing time.
Jan27-Comet was supposed to be in North Eastern sky and reported at mag 5.1.
Feb11-Comet was above Taurus approx 2 degrees from Mars.
Feb18-Comet(7.4 mag) was almost halfway between Aldebaran and Orion.
- Very hazy skies made it difficult to find my pointer constellation Corona Borealis, so I used Bootes and Ursa Major instead. Bootes was just barely visible in the southern sky. Tried taking a long exposure image of that area of sky and nothing showed up except for a very dark blotch. No confirmed sighting could be made.
|Single shot, 20 seconds, ISO 3200, processed on PhotoShop.|
- Ducks could clearly be heard quacking in basin below during observing, which seemed out of place for January. I also observed ducks in an unfrozen stream, through the day. Strange weather has made observing this comet, and the sky in general, difficult for almost two months now.
- One satellite was seen, but no shooting stars.
- Easily located comet with binoculars just above two bright stars in Ursa Major! Fairly large, diffuse comet, approx 5th mag, a grayish, greenish fuzzball that had no central bright region. Showed up nicely even in very light polluted city observing location.
|Single shot, processed on Photoshop, 15 sec, f/11, ISO 1600, focal length 51mm.|
- No shooting stars or satellites were seen. One deer was eating grass nearby, as I observed.
- Mars was high in the west, almost overhead. Spotted the comet easily, just below Mars in binoculars. The faint, diffuse comet had no bright central region and was approx 1/4 the size of the full moon. Once again, this comet appears as a faint gray fuzzball in the binoculars.
- Imaged with both lenses for about 20 mins then tried to find comet again in binoculars and couldn't because of increasing haze.
|Single shot, 8 sec, ISO 3200, f/5.6, focal length 55mm.|
|Single shot, 5 sec, ISO 6400, f/5.6, focal length 300mm|
|Same settings as above and inverted.|
- No satellites or shooting stars were seen. Increasing haze washed out the comet shortly after 2010hrs.
- Images were taken with Canon Rebel attached to an 80ed/apo at prime focus.
- Before imaging faint objects, brighter ones are helpful to fine tune camera focus. This time I used Sirius "The Dog Star", alpha Canis Major. This is the brightest star that can be seen from New Brunswick, Canada with a magnitude of -1.46. From Richard Hinckley Allen's Star Names Their Lore and Meaning, Sirius is Greek for sparkling or scorching.
|Single shot, 8 seconds, ISO 3200.|
- Comet is moving away from Earth and dimming significantly. Windchill makes observing and imaging very difficult. Imaging comets from within the city is also challenging due to light pollution, which easily washes out fainter comets. Many images were ruined by the wind shaking the scope as well.
|Single shot, 10 seconds, ISO 1600|
|Single shot, inverted, 13 seconds, ISO 1600.|
- No satellites or shooting stars were seen.
Note: It seems worth noting that even after all of the added satellites by StarLink and other entities, my astro imaging has not been greatly affected like I thought it would be. I have been picking up more in my long exposure images than I used to, but not enough to ruin the pastime completely...or even affect it much. But, there are possibly many thousands of satellites planned to go up in the future. Exact numbers are not easy to find and with conflicting reports. A subject worth paying attention to, imo.