Second Night of the Comet

Second Night of the Comet

July 16th, 2020, 9:40 p.m. local time

Between my first sighting of C/2020 F3 on the 13th of July to my second sighting on the 16th was a period of unusable cloud cover.  I thought that evening it would be the same for a third night, but fortunately the clouds broke sufficiently.  Having spotted the comet on the 13th so low to the treeline, I was a bit surprised when, three days later, it was significantly higher in the sky.

The image above was taken with my Sigma wide lens, my “go-to” lens for my best possible wide field shots of the sky.  Relevant settings were f/2.8, ISO 3200, 1/4 sec exposure time, and a 33mm focal length.

I then switch to my 300mm Canon “long” lens.  Here is a slightly edited and cropped view from it, f/4, ISO 1600, 1 sec exposure, and 75mm focal length:

Finally, I zoomed for this photograph, f/5.6, ISO 3200, 1 sec exposure, and 270mm focal length.  I didn’t go the full 300 millimeters, as the comet is relatively large when the full tail is taken into account.

One last bonus shot: while snapping the zoomed-in images of Neowise, I happened to capture the lights of a plane as it was landing into O’Hare International Airport.  It’s not as fun as some of the other airplane captures I got in the daylight, but this reminds me for some reason of the light cycles from Tron:

All cropped with minor edits in PaintShop Pro.



I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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