Comet SWAN (2006 M4): October 2006
Comet SWAN was discovered in June 2004 after being found by the Solar Wind ANisotropies (SWAN) instrument aboard the SOHO (SOlar Heliospheric Observatory) spacecraft. It reached perihilion on September 28, 2006 and then moved into the evening sky. The comet was only supposed to reach magnitude +6 but it went into outburst in late October peaking around +3-+4. Below are my collection of images.
This is Comet Swan on 13th of October. It was in Canis Venatici headed towards Bootes at the time. Exposure time was 5 minutes using a Nikon D70 (set at ISO 800) wtih 135mm F2.8 lens The comet's magnitude was about +6 at the time.
This next image was taken on the 16th. The comet was near Gamma Bootes and the tail was about 1 degree long. Exposure time was 10 minutes using a Nikon D70 (set at ISO 800) wtih 135mm F2.8 lens
This image was taken on the 21st. The comet was in Bootes and I managed to image the comet using a 120mm F5 refractor. Total exposure time was 15 minutes (three five minute exposures)using a Nikon D70 (set at ISO 800 for 2 images and 1600 for one image)
The comet moved into Hercules and went into outburst shortly after the last image and I was able to finally get a clear shot through the clouds on the 26th. The comet was around +4 with a 4-5 degree long ion tail. Exposure time was 2 minutes using a Nikon D70 (set at ISO 800) wtih 135mm F2.8 lens. One can see the globular cluster M13 to the upper right.
My last image was taken on the night of the 30th using a 120mm F5 refractor. I took six 5-minute exposures of the comet using a Nikon D70 set at ISO 800 and stacked them for this image. The comet was about magnitude +5.5 at the time with a short dust tail (extended to the lower right) and a fairly long ion tail.
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