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Bringing the Universe to Your Classroom!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

21P Giacobini-Zinner On the Move

Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner has been putting on a good show recently, so I grabbed some shots of the speedy comet as it cruised through the inner Solar System with the Astronomical Telescopes for Educational Outreach (ATEO).

From the 16" f/3.7 reflector, ATEO-1, I thought it would be interesting to capture the motion of the comet. On September 21st around 5:15 in the morning I imaged with 2-minute exposures every 10 minutes, for a total of 15 images captured. Since the comet was low on the horizon during the first part of the exposure run, we see some glow near the horizon which you see at the bottom of the image on the first few frames of the loop. After processing: normal image reduction and aligning all the images, the animated GIF was created that you see below. Elapsed time in the GIF: 1 hour 20 minutes.

Time-elapse GIF of Comet 21P/ Giacobini-Zinner imaged by Muir Evenden on ATEO-1.
Time-elapse GIF of Comet 21P/ Giacobini-Zinner imaged by Muir Evenden on ATEO-1.

Next, I wanted a shot from the 5" f/7 refractor, ATEO-2. A few days later on September 23rd at 3:30 in the morning I captured a 10-minute image with the one-shot color camera while the mount was set to track the comet. The result was this nice picture of the comet moving along...

Comet  21P/Giacobini-Zinner Imaged by Muir Evenden tracking the comet on ATEO-2.
Comet  21P/Giacobini-Zinner Imaged by Muir Evenden tracking the comet on ATEO-2.

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