Sedona Area

Image 7 of 246
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Comet 46P/Wirtanen ©2018 James D Peterson.  Various news articles mentioned that this comet would be visible this month (Dec., 2018), so of course I had to go out and capture it.  This image was made in my back yard (Sedona, Arizona) at 4:36 AM MST on Dec. 19.  I captured eight 2.5 second exposures with my Nikon D850 camera at f2.8, ISO 12800 using a Tamron 70-200mm lens at 200mm.  To minimize the background noise that's inevitable at such high sensitivities, I manually aligned the images (because the stars moved a bit between farmes)  and averaged them together.  In this process, the light from the stars and the comet in the 8 images adds together while the background noise pixels, being random, tend to get averaged out.<br />
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It's not the most spectacular comet I've ever captured (no tail), but it's still an interesting green celestial fuzzball.  Enjoy!