Object name: COMET GARRADD02 18 12

Designation(s): COMET_GARRADD02_18_12,

After months of nothing but clouds in the early morning, I finally was able to again image Comet Garradd (C/2009 P1). Though I missed it passing M92 due to the weather both wouldn\'t have fit my small field of view. Though then the two tails were at an odd obtuse angle. On the 18th of February when I took this image they were almost exactly 180 degrees apart with the dusty anti-tail fading rapidly as we are no longer looking at it in plane. I wanted to catch that on the 15th but clouds prevailed!

Oddly the anti-tail came out rather reddish in color in my image. Usually, they are pretty colorless. The blue gas tail to the west does have the right color. The green is due to carbon compounds commonly found in comet\'s coma.

I sort of cheated for this image. I used 30 one minute luminance images and 10 one minute images in each color. This didn\'t result in a very good star-field. Just too much read noise in all those images. So the 19th I revisited the star-field centering on the same position as the previous night. I took my usual 40 minutes of L and 20 of each color but come morning I found the sky went to pot. Fortunately, I took the images 2 L then 1 of each color then repeated the process. That meant I had half the data at least as it went bad someplace in the second round\'s first luminance frame. This was deeper than the one minute shots of the previous night with better color even if the time for the L channel was less and color the same. I then processed the comet after removing the stars and pasted the starless comet into the star-field carefully placing it where it was when the first L image was started on the 18th.

At the time the comet was imaged Garradd was 1.343 AU (125 million miles) from the earth and 1.734 AU (161 million miles) from the sun. To show this big at that distance it is one big comet. Odd the lunatic fringe decided far fainter and smaller Elenin would do us great harm yet totally ignored this comet which was even more well known at the time. Anyway, it is still \"big and bright\" though I needed 8x20 binoculars to see it. It is heading northwest west of the head of Draco. By month\'s end it will be moving in Ursa Minor below the bowl of the \"Little Dipper.\"

While quite a few galaxies are visible in my image, NED had redshift data on only one. It is the largest in the field seen below the gas tail on the right side of the image. It is UGC 10493 with a redshift of z=0.030114. This puts it a bit over 400 million light-years from us.

14\" LX200R @ f/10, comet: L=30x1\' RGB=10x1\', Stars: L=2x10\' RGB=1x10\', STL-11000XM, Paramount ME