Mike's Astro Photos
Oct.28 2010

Comet Hartley 2 – 103P/Hartley

by , under Comets & Meteors

Comet Hartley 2 was as close as it gets to Earth last week. I snapped these pictures the night after the peak (as peak night was cloudy.)

Comet Hartley 2 - Hartley 103/P - October 22, 2010 16:58 UTC

Comet Hartley 2 - Hartley 103/P - October 22, 2010 16:58 UTC

Here’s an animated GIF of a sequence of images taken over a 45 minute time period. Clouds were coming and going so I had to drop some frames at the beginning of the animation. The line that goes through one of the frames is a satellite.

Comet Hartley 2 - Oct 22, 2010 16:26 - 17:17 UTC

Comet Hartley 2 - Oct 22, 2010 16:26 - 17:17 UTC

The really really exciting thing about this comet is: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is currently operating the EPOXI mission and one of the goals of this mission is to send a NASA probe (space ship) on a close fly by of this comet. This fly by is scheduled to take place in just a few days. You can read more about the EPOXI mission here.

Photo Details
William Optics FLT 98 / CGEM Mount
Canon 20Da Camera
No Auto Guider
30 second ISO 400 exposures
No stacking / no flat frame processing
minimal photoshop cleanup

UPDATE November 4th, 2010 From Gary Fujihara @ Big Kahuna Meteorites

For those of you who missed the live webcast, EPOXI spacecraft flew by Comet Hartley 2 a few minutes ago and took some absolutely stunning pictures with its Medium Resolution Imager. Here is a composite of 3 of the 5 closest approach images:


And here is an Associated Press Story about the NASA mission.

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