Comet Wirtanen (46P) - 181217

Here's my attempt to capture short-period comet 46P/Wirtanen on a moonlit night about a week after perihelion and a couple of days after its brightest point. This was also my first real first-light test with my new QHY183C (I'd attempted to test it before but weather and equipment didn't cooperate). The results were a bit disappointing, with a lot of large structure regular noise that might be part of the comet stacking function in DSS, but that's not clear. This was also done without darks as attempting dark correction actually made color correction worse. This is the average of 134 frames at 25 seconds at a gain of 38 and offset of 110 to attempt to get a good image with a short enough exposure not to show the comet motion blurring the core. The images were taken on my AT-80LE, which as a fast F/6 80 mm refractor is generally a good wide field imager, but the sensor size of the QHY183C is still quite a bit smaller than the APS-C sensor on my QHY247C. Part of my reason for getting this was that the smaller pixel size will hopefully help me for planetary, but I still hoped to be able to get some viable deep sky work with it. That's an awfully expensive investment otherwise! To be fair, however, this image is cropped down from the sensor size due to the overlapping and shifting star field.

Astrometry Details

Image Center: View full size annotated image.
   Right Ascension: 4h 17m 11.628s (64° 17m 54.419s)
   Declination: +28° 28m 43.386s
Orientation: Up is 3.2 degrees East of North.
Image Size: 1.073° x 42.774' Pixel Scale: 0.997"


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