Date Time: November 12, 2018 0515-0630 hrs
Weather: Clear, cold -5C with reported windchill of -11C, breezy to light breeze.
Equipment: Canadian Telescopes 80 ED/APO with 2" 32mm eyepiece, Canon Rebel attached to telescope at prime focus, motorized tracking mount. Images processed with Photoshop.
Attendance: David McCashion
Objective: To capture an image of a newly discovered Comet. Comet COMET C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto) which is reported to be in Virgo, one degree below and to the left of Porrima, near a triangle of stars. This according to a local, fellow Amateur Astronomer, Curt, who was observing the comet with his 8" dob and 15 & 19mm eyepieces at 0520 hrs from Saint John, NB.
- Set scope up, around 0550hrs and aligned it on Betelgeuse and Sirius, which were halfway up in the sky, in the SW.
- Viewed and imaged Venus with 32 mm eyepiece, at around 0607 hrs. It was rising in the low SE and was the shape of a very small, thin crescent moon in the eyepiece. Wonderful thing to see!
|Imaged with camera attached to telescope at prime focus. 1600 ISO, 1/320 second exposure time|
- Attached camera to telescope and used Venus to focus. Then centered Porrima in view finder. Unfortunately, by this time, around 0615 hrs, first light had already started, threatening my ability to image the comet. Looked quickly for the comet in the camera viewfinder, but it didn't stand out, so, took one 16 second image of that area of sky, thinking that it was too late, that it was too light out to capture a faint comet. Not until about an hour later, after putting everything inside to dry out, when viewing the image in the camera view screen, did I clearly see a green fuzzball, right where Curt said it was, "to the lower left of Porrima, next to the triangle of stars." Comet captured!
- According to Richard Hinckley Allen in his book, "Star Names Their Lore and Meaning", Porrima is a Latin name of an ancient goddess of prophecy.
- Seen two shooting stars, in the east, one much brighter and higher in the sky than the other. Both came from the same direction, Leo. No shooting stars were seen.