Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti


Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd




Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd discovered by Australian amateur astronomer Gordon Garradd is visible in October 2011 through all binoculars and small telescopes as a high evening object glowing at  magnitude 7 . It has a bright green head (coma), a sharp nucleus and a short but well defined tail . The cometís location  in early October 2011 is in Hercules.  Garradd will peak in brightness from October 2011 to March 2012 at around magnitude 6, so it could be visible with the naked eye from moderately dark sky locations. Comet Garradd is progressing westward at a slow pace that will slow down even more in the coming months.  Since Hale-Bopp no comet has been visible so bright for so long  for observers at mid-northern latitudes. Closest approach to Earth will be March 5th,  2012 when Comet Garradd will be 117.7 million miles away. 


  • Date & Location:  September 30, 2011  - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm Winds,  58F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Mostly clear with  average transparency.

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor w/1.5x extender = 810mm @ f8.1

  • Filter:  Astronomic  EOS clip-in CLS-CCD (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  AstroPhysics AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  Tracked, but not guided

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  25 min (5 x 5min  @ ISO1600).

  • Calibration Frames:  9 Darks & 9 Bias frames

  • Processing:  Images Plus 3.82b, Photoshop CS4, NIK, Gradient TermX

  • Comments:   Image length was kept relatively short and the total amount of exposures was kept to a minimum in order to keep the coma as compact as possible.  We had a brief one hour break in the cloud cover which made the decision easy.  I'd like to image Comet Garradd again with a deep sky object in the background if the opportunity presents itself. 


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors