Comet 74P/Smirnova-Chernykh, M66 and NGC 3628

Mike Olason
Location of photo
Denver, Colorado
Date/Time of photo
23 April 2018, 0413UT
11" SCT f/6.4 and STF-8300M CCD Camera
Comet 74P/Smirnova-Chernykh is approaching Galaxies M66 and NGC 3628. The galaxies are both about magnitude 10 and the comet is magnitude 16. On the nights of April 30, May 1 and May 2, 74P will pass through the center of M66. This image is a mosaic of 2 images. No special processing was used, just contrast/brightness adjustments to try to show the galaxies and the comet. So this image reflects reality, not special effects image processing.
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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