Object name: P8TUTTLE
While it was cloudy the night 8P/Tuttle passed near M33 it was clear a couple nights later so I was in hog heaven. A clear night after weeks of clouds and no moon. Mr. Murphy though had other ideas. The first target of the night was to be P8/Tuttle. It had been up by the pole for months where a tree hid it from me. Just as it was beginning to move south the clouds rolled in. Now it is moving rapidly south at high speed -- for a comet in the sky. Contrary to TV, comets don't zoom across the sky, Their motion is too small to see without a telescope unless they happen to be passing very very close to us. We had one in 1983 that did move completely across the sky in three nights but still you needed a scope to see this motion as it was much like watching a minute hand on a clock. Come back 10 minutes later and you could see it moved. That was comet Iras-Araki-Alcock, C/1983 H1. While Tuttle is moving "fast" it isn't moving that fast. Still, it was a challenge to image. If I tracked on the comet then the stars showed motion in only 4 seconds looking like short streaks. I needed at least 30 second frames for a low noise shot. Tracking the stars for 30 seconds resulted in a very blurry comet. Yet I needed about 10 minutes of both light and color data and in that time the comet had moved several fields of view of my scope. You can see the result of this in a photo posted to NASA's Astro Image of the Day page of the comet going by M33.