Hunting the comet C/2001 Q4 Neat

10th to 20th May 2004

(A. Heidl, M.Rietze, T. Böckel)


The celestial way of the Comet


The GIF animations shows the movement of the comet within a half hour (5.10.04)  The comet could be observed now from 23:00 o'clock until 1:00 in SW direction with the naked eye. Visit dark areas, and take forward good field glasses! (18.5.04)

After waiting for a long time, the bad weather was cheating us perfectly by pushing us around in an action circle of 300 km and brought us from the Auerberg (Bavaria) to the Spluegenpass (Suisse), and let us finally got mad. Anyway it was worth the trouble getting awarded by impressive observations with unique tendencies and nature environments.

Observation Splügenpass 5.15.2004

 Click      Click

The comet near the open star cluster Praesepe!!: Constellation cancer

Escaping from high clouds and a northern bad weather front which crossed the whole South German area, we had no other chance heading out to the south Switzerland. At this place it was also at least exciting if the good weather will collapse and the view would be cloudless during the night. In a powerful ‘foehn lens’ the view was not completely perfectly but the results were quite positive by good weather conditions on 2000m.

9        10

11   12   13



Photos 9,10,14 und Gifs M. Rietze Canon EOS 300 digital. Nikon 2.8/ 300 (450) mm, 1600 ASP; Photos 11,12,13,15,16 T. Böckel, Minolta X 700.Minolta. MD Tele 4.5/300 similar to ASP 800, exposure time  5 min. Meade electronic-adjusting  


 Deep standing comet in the Italian alps leaning on the top of the summit.

Eichenau (Bavaria) 5.16

....when Martin operates with a FFC-camera...

A pre-processed stage of the FFC image of Sunday evening (16.05.05) from my garden. Comet was standing directly over the building roof (Eichenau). Summarized of 9x 30s exposures with the 300D. Overlay in favor of the comet nucleus.

Star rain on the Auerberg to 5.17.04 (Schongau, Bavaria)

When you have a distinguish and clear atmosphere and zero wind on a ' soft summit '  (1080m) next to the alps you can count this at two hands in the year.

4   5

One finger however is dedicated for the yesterdays night .By enjoying an unbelievable peaceful atmosphere you could get a phantastic view into eternity. The stars literally sizzleed on us....

 6   7   8    9

Exposure of longer than three minutes were no longer senceful by the independent movement of the comet (see GIF above). On the other side you got only enough light details on the chip by leaving open the camera for a long time. Thus we were here in a dilemma, which was solved actually only by large aperture ratios or short exposure time series.(see FFC- picture)


Photo 2,3,6,7,8,9,10;  A. Heidl/T. Boeckel, Nikon D70, Nikon Tele 6/75-300 (450) mm of exp. 3 min. Meade e-adjusting, photo 1,4,5;A. Heidl, Nikon D70, Nikon Tele 6/75-300 mm

Fuchstal on 5.20.04

(A. Heidl, T.Boeckel)

(between Schongau and Landsberg/ Lech, Bavaria)


At the beginning an exposure of Andreas Heidl, which records the building up ceremony of the telescope by every step and turn. The longer residence times (approx. 5-10 seconds.) made me to a forest and meadow ghost.

2    3

A. Heidl/T. Boeckel, Nikon D70, Nikon Tele 2.8/300 (450) mm of exposure time 3-4 min. Meade e-adjusting 

*mag  = > light magnitude: Up to mag +3-4 stars are visible nearby cities with the naked eye, in very dark areas the seeing limit can reach up to mag +6-7.

The more higher numerical value is given, the more weaker are the objects. E.g. - 4,7 mag, Venus glittering; - 1,0 Sirius, brightest star; +3,5 M31 Andromeda, pale shiny oval)

All comet observations from 2001 up to now ..


Fürstenfeldbruck & Gilching


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©photos & text by A. Heidl, M.Rietze, T. Böckel. Last modification 26.5.2004

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