Comet C81P/Wild 2 in Virgo May 16,2010
click the image for a 50% pixel view or HERE to return to the index page

This rather new, rather dim comet was made famous by the Stardust Mission that took samples of the cometary dust and
returned them to earth. The path of the comet took it between the two stars in Virgo earlier (about a day) moving down and to the left...

Note the small galaxies in the background field. I don't have much info on them, but they are from 16th to 20.5th magnitude. Of
particular interest is the tiny cluster of six just above the white star (96 Vir). The brightest is magnitude 16, the faint one
just above it is 20.2 or so...

I had to do some extreme processing to bring this one out. Very careful stretching in
Photoshop using curves made it possible to preserve color. I also used soft light layers to
enhance colors without over saturation. The extreme stretch did enhance the noise which
limits the degree of enlargement... hence only a 50% view, noisy at that.. Also,
due to a failure of the flats at that extreme, this image is cropped about 24% all around.
 Telescope Meade LX 200 Classic 12-inch at f/6.8 on Mitty Wedge in the Julian Observatory.
Camera Canon XT/350d modified with Baader type 1 filter by Hap Griffin
Exposure 140 total minutes of 2 and 3 minute sub-exposures at iso 1600
 Guiding Explore Scientific ED 80 APO piggybacked n the LX200 using PHD Guide from Stark labs with Meade DSI pro I.
 Software Images acquired, calibrated, stacked and color corrected with Nebulosity 2.2.7 from Stark Labs. Further processing in Photoshop CS 3.
on-line links to more information    for more information try Wikipedia at