Comet Hartley Animation

One of our Centre’s most active astrophotographers, Marc Ricard has captured Comet Hartley in all its glory. Thank you for sharing, Marc!


by Marc Ricard

Here’s a time lapse movie of images that I took of Comet Hartley last month as it neared 10 Persei. It’s been my most challenging project so far.  The animation is made up of 73 x 120 second exposures taken through with my Canon 40d through my 4 inch refractor. As you can see my the raw subframe below the comet was quite faint. A lot of processing was required to make it visible. The real challenge though was processing all 73 frames identically. Fortunately Photoshop allows you to record your processing steps and save them as an action. After lots of trial and error I was able to record an action that brought out the comet  without bloating the stars too much. Creating the movie was actually in Photoshop CS3 was surprisingly easy. You simply place the files in a folder.  Select the file from the File Open command and click the image sequence button. From there you can export  it as a quicktime movie. To reduce the file size I cropped out Trumpler 2 the open cluster on the right hand side of the frame. The original quicktime was 89 Mb in size. In order to make the file small enough to send as an attachment I  had to compress it quite a bit. Unfortunately this also reduces the resolution significantly.

Click on the link below to view the animation:

Comet Hartley-2

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