Astronomy Digest

Back to
Main Page

Comet Lee Appears it is Split

Astrophotographer Jim Leonard has taken a picture of Comet Lee. It appears as if the comet has split in two pieces. Comet Lee is currently in the constilation Andromeda. The photograph was taken by a 12" LX200 with a Starlight CCD camera, at F-10.

Notice how the stars surrounding the comet are singular points of light. When taking a photograph of stars with a tracking system, like the Meade LX200 system, you can break your picture in to several shots. The stars will not be effected because the tracking system will keep them in place, in relation to the earth's rotation.

In the photograph notice how each of the parts of the comet are about the same size and brightness. One method of identifying a comet is to take two photographs, on two different nights. What ever moves, may be a comet. Is this photograph a double exposure. First, taking part of the picture. Letting time pass and letting the comet move. Then, taking the second part of the photograph.

Take a look at the photographs and decide for yourself. Has comet Lee split in to two pieces? Or, is this a double exposure? If it is a double exposure, how much time would it take for the comet to move that distance?

Either way it is a great photograph.


Make your own free website on