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A difficult-to-spot comet: C/2020 Q1 (Borisov)

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:51 pm
by rwilkinson
In contrast to Comet NEOWISE which some of us managed to glimpse with the unaided eye over the summer, this one is about 10 magnitudes (10,000 times) fainter!
It's the 10th comet discovered by famous comet-hunter Gennady Borisov from his observatory in the Crimea - he found this one just last month.

Last night it was rising in the NE, in the constellation of Camelopardalis. I had to move our wheelie-bins to make room to set up my tripod in a suitable spot, and then rig up a cardboard screen to shield the 'scope from the bright streetlamp across the road!
Then I managed to capture more than an hour's data, before it disappeared behind the trees.

I couldn't see anything of the comet on my 90-sec exposures, but employing my "invisible comet" process identified a faint blur, distinct from the star-trails on my image:
Comet 2020 Q1 on 13-Sep. 47x 90-sec with Mx716 on C8 at f/3.5
c2020q1_13sep.png (234.64 KiB) Viewed 860 times
(the gaps in the star-trails occur where I've rejected an exposure due to tracking errors or plane/satellite trails)