Near, Far, And A Comet In Between

OCT 10, 2010

On the morning of October 8, comet 103p/Hartley crossed almost in front of the famous "Double Cluster" near the constellation Cassiopeia. I grabbed about 160 30-second exposures with my CCD camera attached to my 4" refractor. Shown here is a 10-second animated gif consisting of 94 frames, spanning 55 minutes. The comet is in the upper left and moving slowly to the right. The Double Cluster spans across the bottom---a beautiful sight in any small telescope. If you click on the link you'll get to a page with a larger animation---on this one you'll notice that an artificial satellite also scooted across the field of view. The stars in the Double Cluster are many light-years away, the comet is a few light-minutes away, and the artificial satellite is just a fraction of a light-second away.