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Wider Field of Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF passing by Mars from Grand Mesa Observatory

This wider field capture of Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF passing by Mars from Grand Mesa Observatory on the night of 2/11/2023 shows more of the comet's ion tail streaming away from the nucleus to the left in this image.

This roughly 4.33 x 2.93 degree image (the full Moon is about half a degree in width for reference) captures more of the scene around this interesting and transitory event. The comet nucleus shows up surrounded by a green coma and the two tails stream off to the left, the curved off white/yellowish more fanned out tail is the dust tail that is streaming off the comet relative to it's movement through it's orbit while the ion tail shoots out almost in a straight line from the nucleus which is driven by the intense solar wind coming from our Sun. Mars in this image is about 1.3 degrees away from the comet from our perspective here on Earth at the time of this capture. Also to note is the dark nebula Barnard 22 and reflection nebula IC 2087 above Mars in this image, to be sure this nebula is not located in our solar system but is much farther away at about 430 light-years distant.

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Captured on 11th February for a total acquisition time of 66 minutes

Technical Info:

Captured and Processed by Tom Masterson, Terry Hancock and Kim Quick at Grand Mesa Observatory

Capture date 2/11/2023

Grand Mesa Observatory System 2c

Camera: QHY 128 Pro C One Shot Color

Optics: Borg 107ED

Image Acquisition software N.I.N.A

Pre Processing in PixInsight Post Processing in Photoshop CC



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