Trying to catch ISON, got Lovejoy instead


On November 17th I decided at 1:00 to try to take some pictures of comet ISON before it’s rendezvous with the sun.

To get above the fog in the Rhine valley I drove up a still-open (normally closed in winter) mountain pass.

I arrived early at the Furkajoch (a mountain pass in Vorarlberg), so I had the chance to take some pictures of the alpine landscape and of comet Lovejoy.

The full moon and a thin layer of high cirrus cloud made the process of locating and imaging the comet difficult.
Vollmond View from the Furkajoch across the fog covered Laternser Valley towards the West

Here is my astrophotography setup at work: An AstroProfessional 80mm ED refractor, a Nikon D7000 camera, a 60mm guidescope with a QHY5 autoguider on my vintage Super Polaris mount, below some images of Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy:

Astrophotographie Ausrüstung My astrophotography setup : Astroprofessional 80mm ED, QHY5 autoguider, Nikon D7000, Super Polaris Mount

Autoguider am Werk C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy)

 C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy)  

The south-eastern horizon was already brightening when ISON should have been visible, I actually didn’t see it with my own eyes, but discovered it later on the pictures below:

DSC07977_1600px C/2012 ISON 

Spica (rechts), Merkur (links) DSC07986_1600px