Imaging a comet

How do you set up a comet in SGP? You can’t find the comet in Framing and Mosaic Wizard so at the weekend I was left slewing manually to the general area and then nudging to the correct coordinates until my comet was in frame. You can’t just enter the coordinates and it slews to them, right? Or can I? Then what happens when you have framed the comet? I had to use the frame and focus function to take looping frames and save those to folders as I couldn’t figure out how to set up a target sequence without first having found it in Framing and Mosaic Wizard. I realise I am probably missing something very straight forward here, but all help is appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

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Comets move differently then deep space objects. If your mount can not track the comet then you have to frame the comet in a position that will allow it to be visible throughout your session as it moves across your frame. When framing your comet think of the core and tail so the entire comet is in frame. You can also use PHD2 and single star guide on the comet core as an option. As far as SGP goes you are taking a picture of the “stars” in your events and the comet will just be in frame. All of this must be done manually as there is no automation in SGP for comet imaging so what you are doing is exactly what everyone else does.

If your mount can track comets make sure the orbital parameters are up to date. In SGP just make sure the “Do Not Slew” option is check when you start your session.

Than you James. Really useful, especially with regards to locking PHD2 onto the comet core. Much appreciated.


What I did was use Sky Safari to find where the comet was going to be in the early morning for imaging. Framed the comet in the field of view indicator and noted the coordinates for the center of that field of view. Then I set up a sequence, entered the coordinates and set it to start imaging at 3:00am and end at 4:00am. (I meant to set the end time to 5:00 but forgot to edit it), set the sequence to park the scope and went to bed. The scope moved to the coordinates, imaged for an hour then parked. The comet was too close to the top of the image in t beginning but eventually moved closer to the center. Due to miscalculations, un- tested equipment setup, I was unable to auto guide that weekend so I was just doing unguided imaging so I wasn’t dealing with any auto guiding setup for a comet.