Neowise (C/2020 F3)

I took the plunge and wake up really early to see it with my own eyes and have a try to photograph it.

This is my take on it:

and of course a raw file for you to play with:
DSCF0207.RAF (52.8 MB)

This file is licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.

In retrospective, it worth waking up early to see it with my own eyes. For the photography part, I should have invested more time to look for a more interesting foreground. But hey, it should still be visible a few days early in the morning and till the end of the month around sunset, so maybe I will get another chance?!?

Have fun!


Emphasis on the dark blues and orange glow:

DSCF0207.RAF.xmp (9.5 KB) darktable 3.1.0

Thanks for sharing!


DSCF0207.jpg.out.pp3 (11,7 KB)


DSCF0207.RAF.xmp (9.8 KB)


Superman vibes. :stuck_out_tongue:

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DSCF0207.RAF.pp3 (14.6 KB)

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DT 3.0.2

DSCF0207.RAF.xmp (10.0 KB)


Was that a fireball meteor or a comet? If so, can you please post the name.

The name is in the topic-title.


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Thanks! Hope I can still catch it!
I still remember the majestic Hale-Bopp in the sky!

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If you are in the northern hemisphere it should still be visible in the early morning sky the next 2-3 days and after 16th of July in the evening sky after sunset.

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Yes, I’m in SE Europe, I checked Stellarium, it should be visible as you said, from 4am or around 21:15, NW.

My friends all got to ride on Hale-Bopp! Their motto was ‘Just Do It!’

@Daniel_Catalina Fantastic composition for a comet!
I’m still puzzled how did you manage to have such a bright comet early in the morning?

My take in the evening, 2 days ago was horribly darker. I could barely see the comet with my own eyes and only noticed it on my camera’s sensor. It was very faint, yet higher in the sky (should be brighter).

Anyway, congrats on your capture! Well done.

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And oh, you also managed to capture Noctilucent clouds, it’s 2 in 1 photo!! :smiley: As an astro greek, I’m a bit envious. :wink:

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This is easy to explain :slight_smile: : as it moves the comet comes closer to earth and further from the sun. This is good as it gets bigger, but is bad as it loses luminosity.

Also, getting up at 3 AM ensured very dark skies, even if if I was basically in Munich which is quite light polluted.

I also has the second opportunity 2 nights ago and come up with this:

But this time was after sunset, around midnight when the daylight was not completely away. Also, because of the rainy weather there was quite a lot of haze and dew in the air (which I think did not helped with the visibility). In contrast to the first picture, this time the comet was barely visible with the naked eye and I had to stack quite a lot of images and process quite a lot the image to get the final result.

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Beautiful. It’s great that a narrow path can still be seen, even in total dark. :slight_smile:

Can you please offer some tips regarding stacking. I always thought comets needed no stacking, but just one good long exposure based on ‘500 rule’ to keep the stars and comet sharp.


sorry, I have only now noticed your request. I hope is not to late …

As far as I understood from various articles in the internet, stacking for night photography is supposed to help with two things:

  • noise reduction
  • data gathering (basically, depending on the way the images are stacked, the information from the raw files are added together and you gain (theoretically) the same data as for a longer exposure using a star tracker)

As I have an (mostly) ISO invariant camera (Fuji X-T3) and I am trying to get the most from the stars without overexposing them, this is the process I follow:

  • set the camera in ‘night mode’: disable the exposure preview in the OVF, set to manual focus, disable LENR, etc
  • set the ISO to the highest value, set the exposure to the desired value
  • find in the OVF or backscreen a star that I can use for focusing and put the focus area over it
  • maximum zoom and focus on it until I am happy with the result
  • put the zoom to normal, compose the scene and take some test exposures until I am happy with the composition
  • check the test photos for focus, composition and star trails
  • adjust the exposure time until I am happy with the result
  • set the ISO to 800 and take the desired number of photos needed for stacking (for MW I strive to get to 200 seconds of accumulated exposure, for the comment I did the same)
  • get some dark frames with the same setup
  • if needed make some longer exposures for the foreground (I confess I forget about this most of the times, but usually the stacking result allows me to push the foreground also quite a lot)

All this happens ‘in the field’. At home, I will open the RAW’s, fix exposure, choose white balance, and if needed apply hot/dead pixels reduction, defringe, flat field correction and save as 16 bit tif. Stack the tifs (in sequator for the moment as I did not learned yet how to use siril) and do some more post processing in various FOSS and not so FOSS programs.

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Thanks for explaining your on-field workflow. I have a question though: if you set the focus on maximum zoom and then you zoom out, doesn’t this throw out your focus in some way? I know that cine zoom lenses are made to have constant focus over the zoom range, but non cine lenses are not made the same way.

I think it’s the LCD digital zoom, not the lens zoom (from what I learned from Daniel in another recent post)

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