Comet NEOWISE and Ursa Major Over Mount Wilson (July 26, 2020)
Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) on July 26, 2020 from Saskatchewan River Crossing in Banff National Park, Alberta. The comet is just about to set behind Mount Wilson, the iconic peak in the area. A meteor appears at top in the image framed to include the Big Dipper and the constellation of Ursa Major. While the comet was fading, its blue ion and white dust tails still show up well.
It was from near here that scientist and explorer James Hector, member of the 1858-59 Palliser Expediton, observed Comet Donati on September 10, 1858 as they made their way up the valleys of the Bow, Mistaya, Howse and Saskatchewan Rivers, as part of a British scientific expedition to map the area and much of southern Alberta.
This is an exposure blend of a stack of 4 x 2-minute untracked exposures for the ground at ISO 800 (exposed long to bring out ground details), with 3 x 30-second tracked and stacked exposures at ISO 1600 for the sky. I shot short exposures for the sky to catch the comet before it set. The meteor was on one frame of the sky stack layered and blended in separately.
The camera was on the iOptron SkyGuider Pro tracker. For the ground shots I simply turned the tracker motor off. All with the 35mm Canon lens at f/2.8 and Canon EOS Ra.
Topaz Sharpen AI applied to the ground. In camera LENR employed on all shots on this warm night. Shot from the parking lot of the Howse Pass Viewpoint area off the Icefields Parkway.