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Originally posted by The Old American
Ever since mankind was invented, when there is a new comet the same thing happens: gloom and doom and the end of the world is very freaking nigh! Just so you know where I'm coming from, I don't really believe Elenin is all that.
However, this article from space.com has me a bit baffled, and I thought the ATS community would help me shine some light on the anomaly in this picture:
The picture on the left was taken August 19th, the one on the right September 6th. The article suggests that this may show that Elenin is breaking up because it is now much dimmer than it was when it was farther from the sun. However, one thing struck me immediately about the more recent picture:
"Why aren't there any star trails in the picture?" You'd think the photographer would've taken a picture with the same exposure time as the first one.
About the star trails: The older picture was taken with a longer exposure, that's why the stars are elongated because the camera is tracking Elenin. The newer one, that supposedly shows Elenin being dimmer, was taken with a shorter exposure, which would, of course, make Elenin appear dimmer, but it also doesn't leave enough time for star trails to appear.
It kind of boggles me that space.com would actually post these two pics as possible "proof" of the comet breaking up when even an amateur like me saw the absence of star trails in about 3 seconds! Could it be some conspiracy to try to fool the "average person" that hasn't had experience enough to know the difference between the two pictures? A cover up could be one explanation to allay panic, but there could be other explanations less nefarious, I suppose.
Anyway, if this has already been explained or debunked, my apologies!
Originally posted by pazcat
It's simple, he used 10 x 10 second exposures on the one on the right. What he would of done is stack the 10 pictures to get the detail on the comet and then select just one to use as the background picture. The one with the trails was only stacked and wasn't processed further to remove the trailing.
They weren't the same exposures either. It's all about the post processing.edit on 22-9-2011 by pazcat because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by pazcat
I doubt he was trying to prove a thing as there is nothing to prove. He is an astronomer and a comet imager, he just wanted to image the comet and did so in whatever way was suitable at the time. This wasn't a scientific study to appease the internet nutjobs, just a guy imaging a comet.