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C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS)
April 27, 2014

On April 27, 2014, Comet C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS), around magnitude 9, was captured as a faint smudge about 3.5 arc minutes from the magnitude 9.6 star, SAO 44819, both of which are about 2 from Alkaid (Eta UMa), the star at the end of the Big Dipper's handle. C/2012 K1 may reach magnitude 6 this summer. Also nearby are smudges from galaxies M101 and M51, and in the upper-left, the popular naked-eye double star, Mizar & Alcor (mouseover for labels). This picture is a cropped single frame taken at 9:38 pm EDT from Coyle Field in Woodland Township, NJ, with a Canon EOS 6D digital SLR camera (on a fixed tripod) and a Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens. It was exposed 6 seconds at f/4, ISO 6400. The field is about 12 wide x 8 high. The close-up images of K1 and M51 below were cropped to the same size (roughly 2 wide 1.4 high) from the same original file.

 
C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) at center  M51 above-right of center, NGC 5195 is the left lobe

 

 

 

C/2014 E2 (Jacques)
April 27, 2014

On April 27, 2014, Comet C/2014 E2 (Jacques), around magnitude 9, was captured as a very faint smudge near Alpha Monocerotis (mouseover for labels). This picture is a cropped single frame taken at 9:44 pm EDT from Coyle Field in Woodland Township, NJ, with a Canon EOS 6D digital SLR camera (on a fixed tripod) and a Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens. It was exposed 6 seconds at f/4, ISO 6400. The field is roughly 6 wide x 4 high.

 

 

Ceres, Vesta and Mars
April 27, 2014

On April 27, 2014, the asteroids (1) Ceres and (4) Vesta were about 2.5 apart in the constellation Virgo, and 14 east-northeast of the planet Mars (mouseover for labels). Ceres and Vesta are bright enough (magnitude 7.1 and 5.9 respectively at the time) to be easy binocular objects; refer to this Sky & Telescope article, which has a nice finder chart. This picture is an uncropped single frame taken at 9:49 pm EDT from Coyle Field in Woodland Township, NJ, with a Canon EOS 6D digital SLR camera (on a fixed tripod) and a Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens. It was exposed 4 seconds at f/4, ISO 6400. The field is about 20 wide x 14 high.

 

 

Scope at Coyle Field
April 27, 2014

Here's my humble telescope, a 12.5-inch, f/5 Newtonian-Dobsonian, at Coyle Field on April 27, 2014, 8:01 pm EDT (13 minutes after sunset). I had the place to myself, probably because of abundant clouds late in the afternoon, but the sky cleared nicely not too long after sunset. The view behind the scope is towards the south-southwest.

 

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Last Update: Friday, October 02, 2015 at 01:04 PM Eastern Time