Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring: an image (31 Mar. 2015)
After more than one month from our previous visit, at Virtual Telescope we observed comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring again. This comety made history last October, when it approached planet Mars within a very short, record distance, under our eyes.
The image above comes from the average of seven, 180-seconds exposures, unfiltered, remotely collected with the PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The object is still nice and bright (though fainter than our Feb. observation), so we plan further observations in the near future. A couple of satellite trails are also visible.
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Is the telescope tracking the comet? Is this why the stars are portrayed as streaks and the comet is not? I assume the telescope is either not tracking at all (but the comet would also be a streak) or tracking the comet on a different rate of that of the apparent movement of the stars. Can someone please confirm?
Hi Bruno, actually that is written in the image’s caption: the scope tracked the comet during each exposure