Comet C/2015 ER61 Panstarrs approaching the Trifid Nebula M20 and the Lagoon Nebula M8

Mike Olason
Location of photo
Denver Colorado
Date/Time of photo
2017/02/27 1215UT
1" Refractor f/4 and ST-402ME CCD Camera
Magnitude 11 Comet C/2015 ER61 Panstarrs is approaching the magnitude 5 Trifid Nebula M20 and the magnitude 6 Lagoon Nebula M8. In this 3.9 degree by 2.6 degree image the comet looks very small compared to the large structures of the nebulas. The comet does have a short tail to the west, but it is hard to see in this image.
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Mike Olason

About Mike Olason

I started imaging comets in 1994 with an ST-5 CCD Camera and an 11" SC Telescope. Since then the CCD cameras have changed (ST-7, ST-402ME and STF-8300M), but I am still using the 11" SC Telescope. Naturally I have used a lot of smaller telescopes to obtain larger fields of view. I live south of Denver at an elevation of 6150 feet which allows me to image comets down to almost magnitude 21 on a perfect night. Unfortunately ChemTrails have turned Denver cloudy and dry. I use the camera software CCDOps to process my images. All I do to each image is dark subtraction and flat field, stack images as required to show faint comets, contrast/bright adjust the final image and maybe use a median filter to reduce the image noise. The result is an image that reflects reality and will never win any picture of the day award. If you would like to use my images for a project or ask a question send me an email to "".
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