Comet Swan proved to be a particularly
frustrating Comet for me. I was plauged with equipment problems
throughout the aparition.
My New Meade Starfinder mount with the
f/7.5 Newtonian was simply not sufficient for astrophotography.
Meade 8" f/10 SCT
blew a drive motor. Actually the drive
blow. It failed mechanically. I recently tore the mount apart and
found the cheap little
gears Meade uses in the motor
had somehow "unmeshed." I realigned the little gears and soldered the
motor back together but it soon
failed again. I attempted some
hand guided shots at prime focus to no avail.
So, the only shots I ended up getting
were short exposures using
telephoto lenses. As a result I determined to purchase a large
could handle an 8" newt and/or sct. I selected a Losmandy G-11
but did not get it until after the comet was gone.
The good news is that I'll have
the equipment to shoot the NEXT
Comet to fly by!
Swan maintained a bright green color
throughout it's apparition. I got
my first shot deep in morning twilight on October 10th.
second shot came just after dusk on October 21st
didn't get another opportunity to shoot the comet until Novermber 22nd.
Here's a closeup view.