Robert Sean Davies
Image taken:
Feb. 21, 2009
Revelstoke, British Columbia, CANADA
Weather conditions were favourable on Feb 20th-21st in Revelstoke to allow for observation of the long awaited comet. Since it was in the southeast, I travelled south of town towards the "flats" to set up my equipment. The sky was jet black, with various Messier objects readily visible. Roughtly 25 degrees from the horizon to the southeast I spotted a long smudge of light about 5 degrees below Saturn. I was quite surprised how easy it was to spot. Conditions outside were quite cold with periodic patches of ice fog that swarmed my immediate viewing area, however it did not dampen my desire to photograph the comet. Astronomy does not have a following in Revelstoke so viewing the comet for me was a special privilege nobody got to see. Periodic yelps and howls from coyotes broke the dead quiet in the area which at times would break my concentration. My telescope setup included a 152 mm richfield refractor with a Nikon D50 set in prime focus. Since the conditions were quite difficult with the temperature, polar alignment was not perfect. Weighing this problem I decided to do shorter exposures and increase the sensitivity of the camera to ISO 1600. By the end of the camera session, my telescope resembled a gigantic snow cone. Everything was iced over. I then packed up and left for home thinking how lucky I was to have seen this celestial phenomenon.
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