Comet 2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)

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rwilkinson
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Comet 2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)

Post by rwilkinson » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:15 am

This one was discovered by a Japanese "amateur" (actually a retired professoinal astronomer) in December, and will be speeding across our sky this month.
I've just got this picture from the OU's COAST facility on Tenerife:
c2018y1_1feb.jpg
Comet Iwamoto on 1-Feb. 3x 120-sec with C14 f/10.
c2018y1_1feb.jpg (147.36 KiB) Viewed 2276 times
It's moving so quickly at the moment that it's even trailing over the course of 2-min exposures.

Here's a chart showing its progress this month, with positions marked each day:
iwamoto_feb.png
The comet's position through February
iwamoto_feb.png (54.2 KiB) Viewed 2236 times
It could reach 6th magnitude around the middle of the month, so may just be visible in binoculars?
Certainly a good imaging target - but keep the exposure times short!
Last edited by rwilkinson on Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comet 2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:13 pm

I've just got a picture of the comet from Bathurst, New South Wales - where it's already tomorrow morning!
c2018y1_11feb.jpg
Comet Iwamoto on 11-Feb. 5x 60-sec with 11" RASA f/2.2
c2018y1_11feb.jpg (161.69 KiB) Viewed 2243 times
It looks pretty spectacular through this instrument - let's hope for some clear nights here now...

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Re: Comet 2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:50 am

It was quite hazy last night, and there was a bright Moon. I'd just been doing some tests with my equatorial wedge (which I showed at last week's workshop session), when the sky cleared enough for me to make out Regulus and the "sickle of Leo".
I realised that this would be an opportunity to catch the comet:
c2018y1_13feb.jpg
Comet Iwamoto from Bolton on 13-Feb. 12x 30s + 13x 40s with NEX 5 and 200mm lens on wedge-mounted LCM.
NGC 2903 is just to the left of the comet, and is just discernible as a trailed smudge.
c2018y1_13feb.jpg (170.26 KiB) Viewed 2218 times
My exposure-times were limited by the periodic errors of the little Celestron LCM, but even at 30-sec through a LPR filter the sky background was quite bright.

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Re: Comet 2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)

Post by rwilkinson » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:27 pm

I had another go last night - this time using a telescope!
I'd fitted a focal-reducer to my 80mm doublet to give it a wide enough field to keep the comet in view for a couple of hours. But the sky was really hazy and full of aircraft contrails, and with the bright moonlight too I could hardly make out Leo with the unaided eye! So anything but the brightest central parts of the comet's coma would disappear into the sky background.
Looking at the histograms on the back of the camera, I didn't think that I couldn't use longer than 30s (at f/5).
iwamoto_14feb.jpg
Comet Iwamoto on 14-Feb. 108x 30s using NEX 5R with LPR filter on 80ED refractor at f/5
iwamoto_14feb.jpg (120.94 KiB) Viewed 2178 times

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Re: Comet 2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)

Post by rwilkinson » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:38 pm

I got another picture last night, although the comet has past its peak and is now down to 7th magnitude.
There was hazy cloud earlier in the evening, but this had mostly cleared by 8:30pm. So when I was setting up, the comet had passed to the West of the Meridian. This was my first test of a "flipped" target with my Sony camera: the extra range of the flip-up rear screen on the NEX 5R certainly came in handy!
The Moon was quite bright by the time I came to pack up, just after 10pm.
iwamoto_21feb.jpg
Comet Iwamoto on 21-Feb. 61x 60-sec with NEX 5R on 80ED at f/5.
iwamoto_21feb.jpg (209.38 KiB) Viewed 2079 times

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Re: Comet 2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)

Post by rwilkinson » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:48 pm

Last night I had two independent imaging systems running side-by-side in my garden.
The first was my Sony NEX 5 camera fitted with a Pentax 135mm lens, running on my EQ tracking platform.
This gave a wide enough field of view to take in the three Open Clusters M36, M37 & M38 as well as the comet.
So far I've just processed the area around the comet:
iwamoto_26feb.jpg
Comet Iwamoto with my NEX 5 camera and a Pentax 135mm lens. 61x 170-sec at f/5.5.
iwamoto_26feb.jpg (117.35 KiB) Viewed 1998 times
And once I'd got this running, I set up my Starwave 80ED refractor on the CG5 mount and put my little Atik 16IC one-shot colour CCD camera on the back.
iwamoto_26feb.jpg
Comet Iwamoto with my 16IC camera on the 80ED refractor. 94x 90-sec at f/3.4 (using a focal-reducer)
iwamoto_26feb.jpg (66.9 KiB) Viewed 1998 times

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Re: Comet 2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:02 am

rwilkinson wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:48 pm
This gave a wide enough field of view to take in the three Open Clusters M36, M37 & M38 as well as the comet.
This is the full frame.
clusters.jpg
Comet Iwamoto and three Open Clusters. Sony NEX 5 with Pentax 135mm lens: 61x 170-sec at f/5.5.
clusters.jpg (209.78 KiB) Viewed 1993 times

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Re: Comet 2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:25 pm

I got some more data last night, this time using one of my Sony cameras on the StarWave 80mm refractor:
composite.jpg
Comet Iwamoto on 27-Feb, with M36 & M38. 56x 120-sec with Sony NEX5R on 80ED at f/5
composite.jpg (185.51 KiB) Viewed 1979 times
I could have done a better job of framing it, but I'm not used to this wide-field camera yet!

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