Comet 103P/Hartley

Mike Olason
Location of photo
Denver, Colorado
Date/Time of photo
15 December 2017, 1119UT
11" SCT f/6.4 and STF-8300M CCD Camera
Comet 103P/Hartley was at perihelion in April 2017 when it reached magnitude 11, unfortunately it was in the glare of the Sun and did not come out of that glare until October 2017 when it was magnitude 18+. In this GIF 103P is magnitude 18.8. The GIF is an animation of three 900 second images, FOV 13'x10' and was collected from 1119-1204UT. Yes, the GIF does not look very good, but remember the comet is almost magnitude 19.
Astronomy Pictures: Sky & Telescope's Online Gallery, Meteor, Comet & Asteroid Pictures
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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