Comet P/2018 H2 PANSTARRS and Asteroid 97194

Mike Olason
Location of photo
Denver, Colorado
Date/Time of photo
5 May 2018, 0739UT
11" SCT f/6.4 and STF-8300M CCD Camera
Comet P/2018 H2 PANSTARRS was magnitude 18.6 and 113 million miles from Earth in this image. The comet was at perihelion last January 23 when it was 188 million miles from the Sun in its 9.25 year orbit. It made a close approach to Earth on April 29 when it was 112 million miles from Earth. The comet is currently about as bright as it will get. If the comet is rediscovered in about 9 years when it returns to the inner Solar System it will be given an official Periodic Comet designation. Also in the image is magnitude 18.7 Asteroid 97194. It is to the lower left of the comet near the brightest star in the 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 "".
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