Comet Lulin: spotted in Hawaii.

Comet Lulin, high in the sky.

Early this morning @ 2:33am, I was finally able to find the Comet Lulin. By that time it was very high in the sky — almost directly over head. It was very difficult to aim and follow with my telescopic focal length. But the near zenith position offered a pleasant surprise: diminished contamination from Earth based light pollution.

I stacked 10 images to build up the density of the comet and partially eliminate the high ISO noise. Even wide open at f/2.8, my exposure was 2 seconds at ISO 6400. My particular setup demonstrated some terrible banding artifacts. (So much for the “miracle sensor” in the D3.) The darkened edges (brightened center) are a demonstration of the light fall off characteristics of my lens “wide open”.