I took some more pictures of Comet 17P Holmes just after midnight on Saturday, November 3, 2007 from outside my front condo door.
This comet has certainly grown over the last several days, and, I'm wondering if that's an ever-so-slight hint of a tail inside the inner coma at about 5:00 relative to the nucleus.
Here's a cropped version of one of my 20 second exposures, colour-balanced, at ISO 200 through my Tamron 300mm lens @ f/2.8 + Canon Digital Rebel 300D:
Here's an overexposed colour-balanced and gamma-corrected image; as above, but a 2 minute exposure:
Kerry, Gail and I got together for an observing/imaging session, last night. Naturally the comet was high on the list for both. An amazing sight in our 6" reflector, yet it wasn't until Kerry captured a few images on her computer that we noticed it seemed to have a well-defined bow-front on one edge of the halo and the opposite edge had softened. A closer visual inspection through our dob confirmed it, and the fact that it looks that way in Mike's picture (below) seals the deal. I'm wondering it if has something to do with sunlight defining the bow-front and the "back-end" being in shade - what do you think..
To me it no longer looks like little Comet Cutie but more like Comet PacMan -LOL! Hopefully Kerry can upload her image(s) soon for a comparison.
I also wandered across an object I hadn't logged before: NGC 6819. This is a small, compact, open cluster described in the Night Sky Observers Guide as "a small splash of stars". They range from about mag 11 on up and, within the star field that is part of the Milky Way stream, the cluster is reminiscent of M71. It has also been called the Foxhead Cluster but I couldn't see any relation.
Although we were enjoying each other's company, the low temperatures turned the heavy dew into frost that soon coated everything not generating heat. We reluctantly packed up but I'm sure it won't be long before we're once again checking out "Comet What's Next".
Update By KerryLH:
Sorry for the late image post... I finally got around to organizing and processing.
Helix was a tough target since it was pretty low and also very faint. I didn't have much luck with tracking and guiding either... I might attempt this again another time
As Glenn mentioned there is a soft edge to the comet. Look along the lower right edge. 30sec exposure, stretched. It is getting more diffuse so longer exposure are needed now with my f10 scope.
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