After my trip to La Palma last year, I decided to visit La Palma again coinciding with the perihelion passage (December 12) of comet 46P/Wirtanen. At closest approach to Earth at December 16, it would probably be visible with the naked eye. Of course this period is also known for the maximum of the Geminid meteor stream. We (my parents and I) experienced exceptionally good weather (sunny, 22°C) and we were able to observe comet Wirtanen every night as well as the Geminids.
Observed the 2017 return of the Geminids from Athos Centro Astronómico at La Palma. Although Europe was severely hampered by the storm Ana we managed to succesfully observe the Geminids in the nights 13/14 and 14/15 december.
I decided to bring a tripod and a Vixen Polarie travel mount on a 1 week trip to the south of Portugal (São Brás de Alportel, 37°9’8.8″N, 7°56’27.4″W, alt=236m). Managed to observe comet 252P/LINEAR on a number of occasions. Below image was from the first night, april 6th, when the comet was near the globular cluster M14. On the night of april 7th, with proper dark adaptation the comet was visible to the naked eye. I estimated it’s brightness at +5.7 using 8.5×42 binoculars, with a coma diameter of 45′ and DC=3.
Minutes after parking the telescope and closing down the observatory, the skies cleared. Quickly opened up the observatory again, piggybacked the Canon 60D and 200mm on the mount and took some 1 minute shots. Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) was easily visible in 8.5×42 binoculars.
First night in 2016 at public observatory Bussloo under a perfect clear sky. A lot of visitors at the observatory, therefore just 2 images of the comet.
Accidently woke up early, took a shower and looking at my alarmclock realized it was only 3.30 a.m. The skies were clear so I decided to head out to my observing site and have a go at comet Catalina. The comet was clearly visible with 8.5×42 binoculairs.
Comet C/2014 S2 (PanSTARRS) is still visible in the northern hemisphere. Despite the stormy conditions I managed to take a number of 1 minute unguided shots with the William Optics Star 71 pggybacked on the observatories’ AP 1100GTO.
The first indication of winter; a strong easterly wind bringing clear skies. Mark-Jaap and myself headed for the observatory for some astrophotography. First object was comet C/2014 S2 (PanSTARRS) very close the Polaris. Piggybacked my William Optics Star 71 on the observatories’ AP 1100GTO for some unguided 1 minute shots. Next tried to locate comets Lovejoy and Jacques, but these seem to have gone out of reach for my setup. Ended the session with a couple of 2 minute shots of NGC7000, the North America nebula.
Very poor conditions; high clouds, humid and a very light sky background. Couldn’t get rid of a strong gradient caused by light pollution.
In spite of the first quarter moon and low clouds, Lovejoy was easily visible with binoculars.