Comet C/2023 P1 (Nishimura)
Discovered on August 12, 2023 by Hideo Nishimura, a Japanese amateur astronomer, the third comet which now bears his name was briefly observable from the Earth’s northern hemisphere before passing closest to the Sun on the following September 18. During its brief passage, it was only visible a few degrees above the northern horizon, making it a real challenge to photograph it.
Today, the vast majority of comets are discovered by automated professional telescopes that continually scan the sky. The discovery by this amateur astronomer is therefore exceptional and results from the fact that this comet arrived directly from behind the sun, a place too dangerous to photograph for the sensitive instruments of professionals.
Telescope: William Optics GT81 with a field flattener (f/4.7)
Mount: iOptron CEM26EC
Camera: ZWO ASI 2600MC Pro
Exposure: 23 x 60 seconds
Target only 14 degrees above the horizon. The picture at the bottom of this page shows the position of the telescope while imaging the comet.