Location: Prince of Wales, NB, Canada
Date Time: November 11, 2021 0245-0434hrs
Weather: Steady north west wind in Saint John, but it was just the slightest of air movement in POW. Very dark, clear, a very cold 0C with 60% humidity and windchill. One bird chirped about halfway through observing, which is the first time I've heard any sign of life there in a long time.
Attendance: David McCashion
Equipment: Canon Rebel t3, 80 ed/apo, and images processed with PhotoShop.
Objective: To image Magnitude 10.5 Comet 2021 A1 Leonard, which was reported to be in Ursa Major, about seven degrees to the west of Alula Borealis, in the early morning hours. Many amateur astronomers are expecting this comet to brighten significantly in December of this year. Perihelion is supposed to be on January 3rd 2022, where it will be 0.615 AU from the Sun.
- On my way to locating the faint comet, star hopped from Megrez and Phecda, main asterism stars of Ursa Major, to the comet. Comet was around 20 degrees south east of Phecda, towards Denebola, so it's not in this approximately 2 degree image of the area surrounding Phecda. I found this area interesting because of it's abundance of galaxies. From Richard Hinckley Allen's, Star Names Their Lore and Meaning, Phecda, spelled "Phacd, Phachd, Phad, Phaed, Phecda, Phekda, and Phegda are from Al Falidh, the Thigh, where this star is located in the figure."
|Comet is not in this image. Single shot, 30 second, ISO 3200.|
- From the observing site in Prince of Wales, there is always a degree of light pollution in the north eastern sky, so it was important to wait until the comet rose above it, which by 0330hrs, it did. I was surprised with how bright the comet was, as it immediately popped out, in my first overexposed 30 second image. Showing a tail, and a bright central region, but was not exactly where the sky chart showed where it was suppose to be.
|Single shot, 30 second, ISO 3200. Image cropped and enhanced.|
|A negative of the above image.|
- I was going to try for the three other comets, comets 67P, 29P, and comet c/2019 L3 Atlas, which were up at this time and were within my brightness range, but they were straight overhead by 0400hrs. This makes imaging practically impossible for my equipment.
- No satellites were seen, and a faint, fast meteor was seen, straight over-head, heading east.