July 17th, 2020, 9:48 p.m. local time
With the humidity climbing in very hot air, I still attempted a third night of viewing everyone’s newest favorite comet. This time, I dragged my Dobsonian into my front yard, which I rarely do. But I also rarely point my astronomical equipment towards the North. Call it a special occasion worth the extra effort and sweat.
Of all the views I have seen myself so far of Neowise, the simple view from the Dob has been my favorite. It was a tad difficult to locate manually, even guided by binoculars, due to how low it was to the Northwest horizon. I rarely point the Dob so low as well. It requires weight adjustments to prevent the tube from tipping forward, and this night was no exception.
In this image, I particularly enjoy observing the tail and being able to see how far back it flares from the comet.
For those interested, the two stars close to the comet appear to be HIP 42761/SAO 42503 (lower) and HIP 42773/SAO 42503 (upper). HIP 42761’s magnitude is 9.25 and HIP 42773’s is 7.85. My image appears to corroborate this, as the higher star is slightly brighter. Thanks to Stellarium, both the web and desktop versions, for helping me to identify these stars.
Summary of my equipment, settings, and software used:
- Telescope: Dobsonian reflector 254mm / 10″ (homemade)
- Camera: iPhone XS
- Q70 32mm eyepiece
- No Barlow
- No filter
- NightCap app
- Relevant camera settings (afocal):
- ISO 1600
- Exposure: 1 sec
- Focal length 4mm
- Smartphone telescope mounting bracket
- Software for post-processing:
- PaintShop Pro for minor touch-ups and contrast adjustment