Comet observations

What are comets? (wiki ENG, wiki NL)

Actually, I was always interested in comets because they are the parent bodies of the meteor streams. It is maybe a bit strange that I took my first pictures of a comet in 1997. So, even Halley's Comet in 1986 went unnoticed. In the 80's I saw only two comets: Comet C/1983d IRAS-Araki-Alcock and 21P Giacobini-Zinner (observed throught a 40,6 cm Newton telescope of Dany Cardoen). In the 90's I saw three comets: 109P Swift-Tuttle (parent body of the Perseids), Comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake and Comet C/1995 01 Hale Bopp. The latter was the first comet I captured photographically. Although C/1995 01 Hale Bopp was the "comet of the century", I found the appearance of comet C/1996 B1 Hyakutake more impressive. In the night 26/27 March 1996 I saw this comet from team Delphinus very dark location at Biddinghuizen near Polaris. By crystal clear conditions (lm 6.8) we could see it's tail over 70 degrees!

Picture: 16 januari 2005: Aiming the Canon 10D on comet C/2004 Q2 Macholz. Mount: Vixen Photoguider type 1.

In 2004 I bought my first digital SLR camera: a Canon 10D. Somewhat later I bought a Canon EF 100 mm F 2.0 lens. During the night of 14/15 January 2005 I took my first pictures of a comet with a DSLR with the help of Jaap van t Leven. I used my Canon 10D, a Vixen Photoguider (type 1) and the Canon EF 100 mm F2.0 . When I saw the first pictures appear in the camera display I was very excited. This was the start of a new branch of my hobby: astrophotography and especially taking images of comets. At the left you find a list with links to all my comet observations and pictures.
I do not use large telescopes and heavy mounts. I find it a sport to photograph comets with relatively simple means such as a travel mount and a DSLR and some camera lenses.
1) The visual observations are just impressions of the comets. The observations do not meet the requirements for serious comet observations.
2) The pictures I took of comets have no specific purpose. It is just for fun. They are not scientific photographs, but sometimes they were used in analyses about some comets. Some of my comet pictures were also used in publications such as Zenit and eRadiant.

Picture: 30 july 2011, preparing for another clear night at Hakos Guest farm, Namibia. Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EOS 450D. Mount: Astrotrac Travel Mount.




AstroRockers Blog
Comet observations of Koen Miskotte