Comet ISON

posted November 14th, 2013
If you're interested in possibly seeing and capturing images of comet ISON, last night it started to flare and has increased in brightness.

From EarthSky “We have no idea … what ISON will do in the next couple of weeks! We simply urge everyone who can to get out and observe it while they can.”

Many media are now reporting today (November 14, 2013) that Comet ISON has had an outburst. In other words, it brightened substantially last night and may now be becoming visible to the eye alone, in dark country skies.
posted November 14th, 2013
@abirkill Have you had a chance to see it? Do you have a similar doc or suggestions for folks with comets and asteroids?

Alexis has a great document for Star Trail photography located here:

posted November 15th, 2013
Thanks for posting, Mike!

There seems to be increasing concern that the comet will not survive the close pass of the Sun at the end of November intact, which means that we might not get the spectacular display in December and January that many are hoping for.

As such, if you want to see it, the few days from the 16th (when it's anticipated to become visible to the naked eye) to the 21st (when it's expected to get too close to the sun to be distinguishable without special equipment) may be the best chance to view, or photograph, it.

A good camera (DSLR) will probably be able to pick up the comet any time from now onwards, even though it's too faint to be seen by eye, but you'll have to either binoculars or trial-and-error to frame it.

Personally, at this phase in the comet's lifetime, I would be using a telephoto lens (very approximately 200mm) at its widest aperture, a high ISO (around ISO 1600) and a shutter speed in the region of 2 to 10 seconds to capture it.

If it does survive the pass with the Sun intact and starts to put on a display as it nears Earth, then it should be large and bright enough to show clearly with a wider-angle lens, allowing us to put the comet in the context of the landscape of Earth. (The other benefit, for people like me who don't do early mornings, is that it will be visible in the evening as well!)

Good luck to anyone trying to shoot it, and remember, even if you can't see it with your eye or through the viewfinder, take some shots with the camera pointing in the right direction -- you might be surprised at what it picks up!
posted November 15th, 2013
posted November 15th, 2013
thanks for this - v useful @mikegifford
posted November 16th, 2013
ISON - not!
I tried early this morning to capture ISON without much luck - a bot too much fog.

@abirkill @kali66 @colins - if you folks give it a go, please post. I may try again with in the next couple of days.
Write a Reply
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.