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These images are not too much to brag about, so this post is more of an alert that comet LoveJoy right now is very easy to spot and is nicely placed next to the Pleiades. I have seen a lot of images from Fx sensors around 70-85mm, so I was surprised I got it all into the frame with a DX sensor and 105mm when I tried this tonight. Conditions were far from the best with partly overcast weather and light pollution. Here is the first thumbnail image of a stack I attempted, with 105mm f/2.5 @ f/2.5 on D5100 @ ISO 3200 & 3sec. #1 31 image stack processed with Deep Sky Stacker (DSS), pretty much default. It is a long time since I used the program and I am not too familiar with it. Also I did not do things the "correct" way as D5100 had long exposure noise reduction turned on, and no dark frames were captured. (Can be viewed large): #2 Then a single 5 sec exposure processed in CNX2. In both of these I used a control point to pull up the periphery of the comet somewhat. No chance to get any tail in any of these: #3 In this case it was not much to win with the stack, but I probably did not find the best settings in DSS. Any longer exposure than 5s and the stars get too much drawn out. I really could have needed that equatorial mount I considered buying a few years ago. But as an afterthought, that probably would not have helped much with this amount of light pollution and haze.
If you do not like images of mountains as single subject, skip this post. :-) These were captured during two field trips to our Toolik Field station on North Slope in Arctic Alaska this "spring". On the drive up Dalton Highway the light was somewhat hazy and flat, and that is where IR comes to the "rescue". First view of Brooks Range appears when one pass Gobblers Knob, looking north. The low area is among the coldest in North America, and the hills were victim to extensive wildfires a few years ago. The green trees are the few spruce trees that survived, the black ones are burnt. Compare to the hill in the far distance which is almost entirely green. (Please view large). #1 North fork of Koyukuk river. #2 This is not spring melt but overflow that can go on throughout the winter: #3 #4 Still on the south side of Brooks Range: #5 #6 The high areas at Atigun pass: #7 #8 #9 North Slope looking south toward Brooks Range: #10A #10B Arctic logistics. #11 #12 #13 #14