Sunday, November 04, 2007

Comet Holmes shot in Singapore!

I've been lucky enough to have viewed some of the brightest comets ever - the likes of Hale Bopp in 1995 and Hyakutake in 1996 - but Comet Holmes has got to be the most unusual bright comet I've seen. Shining at magnitude 2.5, it is very bright - easily seen with the naked eye but unlike the two great comets Hale Bopp and Hyakutake, Comet Holmes doesn't display a glamourous tail like the other two.

Early this morning at 3am, I spotted Comet Holmes again. This was my second time seeing it. This time, I had my 3 inch refractor telescope ready. The comet is an amazing sight through the telescope. It looks very much like a globular star cluster via a low power/wide angle eyepiece. It's diffused and you can easily tell the difference between the comet and the tiny stars surrounding it.

To show how one can easily spot the comet and photograph it, I used a Canon PowerShot A350, put it on a tripod, set the camera's ISO to 800 and do a manual exposure of about 10 to 15 secs.




To view the comet's position, click on the photos to go their Flickr pages.

I'm actually pretty happy with the results bearing in mind that these photos were taken with a simple "point and shoot" digital camera just next to the tennis court downstairs.

Comet Holmes is getting larger!
I finally spotted Comet Holmes!
Comet erupts, now visible as bright star!


pinto said...

Very nice, Isaac! Didn't know it was possible to do decent astrophotography considering how much ambient light there is in Singapore. And with a point and shoot too!

Sir Thomas said...

Those are impressive shots mate. I've heard that it's almost impossible to do good astronomy in Singapore because of the light pollution there.

primus said...

nice man!!