Comet C/2015 ER61 Panstarrs: an image (04 May 2017)
Comet C/2015 ER61 Panstarrs was imaged again a few nights ago and it showed a beautiful ion tail. It is one of the most beautiful comets we see so far this year.
The image above comes from the sigma clipping combination of ten, 120-seconds exposures, unfiltered, remotely taken with the 16″-f/3.75 Tenagra III (“Pearl”) robotic unit part of Tenagra Observatories in Arizona. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the comet. The imaging camera is based on the KAF-16801 CCD. The resulting image scale is 2.4″/pixel. The object was at only 12 degrees of altitude, on the eastern horizon, but despite this the comet looked amazing.
The observatory hosting the telescope is placed at 1300 meters above the sea level, in the Sonoran desert, providing one of the best skies in the world. This image is the first one coming from a cooperation between the Virtual Telescope Project and Tenagra Observatories, Ltd., which will be announced soon.
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What are the two objects in the pic that appear stationary and made of intelligent design??
Any dot you see there is coming from thermal noise (typical for CCD devices) or from the technique used to combine the basic frames used. Also, on the left, there is a pale, ordinary satellite trail crossing the cometary tail… but nothing more.