Comet 45P Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova emerges from evening twilight

Mike Olason
Location of photo
Denver Colorado
Date/Time of photo
2016/12/21 0108UT
66mm Refractor f/6 Telescope and ST-402 CCD Camera
Comet 45P will brighten to Magnitude 6? on February 11 when it will pass about 8 million miles from Earth in our morning sky. Unfortunately there will be a full Moon, but binoculars might show a nice comet with a long tail 50 degrees above the eastern horizon at 4AM. The images were taken at the end of dusk with the comet 9 degrees above the southwest skies of Denver as it was getting ready to set. The mono image shows a magnitude 10 comet with a faint, narrow tail 1/2 degree long. The tail was not visible in the color image.
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 "".
All comments must follow the Sky & Telescope Terms of Use and will be moderated prior to posting. Please be civil in your comments. Sky & Telescope reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter’s username, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.