I caught the comet! (In a really underwhelming photo)

We haven’t had much for clear skies lately (except my previous post of an evening with Venus, Jupiter and Saturn). It’s been hard to catch Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) due to the lack of a clear view of it.

So, I did get a photo that included the comet. Due to the nature of comets, we have a fuzzy object covered by a fuzzy cloud deck. That doesn’t go well.

Canon XS on tripod with a 50mm lens at f/2 for 10 seconds at ISO 400. 4:25am EST (Sunrise was at 7:06am)
The clouds are lit by urban lighting.
Yup, it’s there. Cropped version of the larger photo.

This morning was clearer, but high clouds covered the eastern sky where Leonard has been hiding out. The high clouds started to move out, but new clouds developed in their place. I took some photos of the area around the comet’s location and hoped for the best.

Same photo with automatic haze reduction. Leonard is at the center of the photo. The processing brings out the comet a bit.

It was hard for me to star-hop to Leonard’s location with my binoculars, so I never got to see it with my own eyes. I did look at some of the photos after I finished taking them while I was still outside and could find the comet on the screen, based on the location predicted by the electronic MobileObservatory.

Here’s a view from Cartes du Ciel matching the area of the photo.

Leonard is rapidly moving toward the horizon in the morning sky as it passes 22 million miles from Earth on the 12th. Then it will move into the evening sky passing well below Venus.

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