Comet Ison from the Zillertal Alps – what a night and day

As usual by the time of year in the Alps, the villages in the valleys lay under a thick layer of fog called inversion. At this point best wishes to my friends at the lower parts of Bavaria and Austria.

So, just a night before leaving to my booked out (-: time-lapse workshop at Vienna I was finishing packing.

But I had enough of the fog and wanted to catch a peek of comet ISON, since Vienna is usually under fog during winter. So I would have no opportunity to watch ISON the next three mornings during my stay.

Our home village was under a fog layer, so after a quick decision, I grabbed my gear at around 00:30 pm and drove east to go high above the Zillertal to escape the fog. The road that would lead me high enough, I knew from an earlier session in 2010. But I was a bit anxious: The road would in the upper part be icy and snow covered, would I need to mount chains? No. With temps around Zero the grip was good, and as always my 4×4 Ford Kuga was in a good mood and climbed up like a weasel. I arrived at the place – located 1800 m high – around 1:30 a.m. And finally there were the clear skies and a great view to the east.

As always it took a while to set everything up, and no time for a nap, sigh. I set the GBT rig for a time-lapse comet transition, estimated where ISON would appear and programmed a pan/tilt move to the right upwards (6D with 24-70/2.8 at 70 mm). It would later turn out that the pan was too slow so ISON would climb out of the image, but at least it’s in there for a while as I could see from GBT’s live preview.

After the GBT Rig was running, I polar aligned the Polarie and dialed in the D800 with the 80-200/2.8. It now was around 4:00 a.m. At around 4:30 a.m. my energy and concentration was clearly starting to fade and I somehow couldn’t find the darn meteor. So I took a couple horizontal shots with the D800 and the 80-200 set to 80 mm, and there the comet was in all it’s early glory.

Comet ISON

Comet ISON. My first sight at 4:50, 16.11.13. D800, ISO 2500, 2s, f2.8.

Comet ISON

Comet ISON

Comet ISON

Comet ISON

 

Comet ISON

Comet ISON

Comet ISON

Comet ISON. It’s tail and nucleus.

Comet ISON

Comet ISON. Morning has broken.

Comet ISON

Comet ISON

Comet ISON

Comet ISON

What a beautiful view. With my 8.5 x 45 binocs the core was actually visible, the tail needed a bit of imagination and fresh eyes.

However… Amazing, how much more cameras do see. Around 6:00 am I was weary enough to let things run on automatic, and took a nap until 9:00 a.m. Packing gear up and after a careful drive down I was back home at 12:00 noon for lunch with the family – with some ISON images!

At 5:00 p.m. I leave to Vienna. What a night, err day 😉

Cheers
Chris

 

 

8 thoughts on “Comet Ison from the Zillertal Alps – what a night and day

  1. Klasse Bilder, schöne Stimmung und der Nebel schön unten im Tal.
    Gruß Pauzi

  2. Pingback: Sind zwei Splitter von ISONs Kern abgebrochen? | Skyweek Zwei Punkt Null

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