Master Classes 






Comet Academy


Spectacular Comets of 2024 are Coming!



Horizons subscribers can access the videos below. New customers can purchase the standalone Comet Academy for $75 - (<- follow link)

If you like Comet Academy and are considering a Horizons subscription, you can apply the full $75 to unlock all videos in Horizons. 

HERE IS THE CODE (available after purchase).  


Reminder: It is recommended to watch the Fundamentals videos for a complete understanding of all image processing in Horizons.

12P/ Pons-Brooks

There will be a solar eclipse on 8 April 2024 with comet 12P/ Pons-Brooks just 25 degrees from the Sun! The perihelion passage is on 21 April 2024 at 0.781 AU (116.8 million km) from the Sun. Just 42 days later on 2 June 2024 when it will be 1.55 AU (232 million km) from Earth. Near perihelion, the the comet is expected to brighten to about magnitude 4.5 (around 400x brighter than the July 2023 outburst).

C/2023 A3 Tsuchinshan-ATLAS

Do not miss a ONCE IN A LIFETIME chance to capture this comet. After it reaches perihelion on October 9th it will round the Sun and pass closest to Earth at 0.5 AU and at worst shining at 4th magnitude... but some predictions suggest an even brighter apparition! As a first time visitor to the solar system it could also break up (which is also fantastic to take images of). You never know....

Concepts and Planning




If you want to take your planning and observations to the next level, consider joining the: 

Comet Observations Database Website (COBS)

The Use of Russ Croman XT software is a central part of the processing workflow. 

Buy the software from the links below. (SXT is minimum requirement.)

Found below are demonstrations  and complete PDF guides with data to follow along. Currently there are 5 examples below and two additional at the bottom of the page-- more to be added. 


Standard Comet

StarTracked, Mono, RGB, Background Nebula/Galaxy, Comet Subtraction

Workflow Guide       DATA DOWNLOAD
1.  Comet PreProcessing (WBPP)
2.  Comet Aligned Images
3.  Batch StarXTerminator
4.  Local Normalization
5.  Stacking Starless Comet Images
6.  Comet Subtraction from StarField Images
7.  Stacking Comet-Subtracted Starfields
8.  Color Calibration (Starfield) and Cleanup
9.  Comet RGB and Blending Preparation
10.  Blending and Final WrapUp


Flexible Design

Comet Tracked Star Streaked 

Mono, RGB, No Background Nebula/Galaxy overlapping comet, Short timeframe


Workflow Guide 
1.  PreProcessing with WBPP
2.  CometAlignment, Batch SXT, ImageIntegration
3.  Create Starfield, DBE, SPCC, NXT
4.  Screen, Comet Masking, Blend, WrapUp


Standard OSC Comet

StarTracked, CFA/OSC, Background Nebula/Galaxy, Comet Subtraction

Workflow Guide       DATA DOWNLOAD
1.  Intro and Debayer Test
2.  WBPP
3.  CometAlignment
4.  Batch StarXTerminator
5.  LN and Stacking (Comet)
6.  DBE and Cleanup
7.  Comet Subtraction from StarField Images
8.  Stacking of Starfield Images with Cleaning
9.  Color Calibration with SPCC
10.  Stretching Masters and HDRMT
11.  ImageBlend Script and Final Adjustments


Flexible Design

Traditional Comet (No SXT) 

Mono, RGB, CometAlignment, Background Nebula/Galaxy, Comet Subtraction


Workflow Guide  coming soon
1.  Initial Calibration with WBPP
2.  Comet Alignment
3.  Comet Subtraction from Star Fields
4.  Comet Subtraction Cleanup
5.  Comet Starless Cleanup
6.  Comet Color Correction
7.  Blending Stars and Comet with Wrap Up

DSLR with Landscape (Overview)

StarTracked, CFA/OSC, Background Nebula/Galaxy

 Patreon accessible.

1. Introduction
2. WBPP and Registration
3. Post Processing Walk Through
4. Final Processing (Photoshop)


Flexible Design

C/2021 S3 (PanStarrs)


 This comet is particularly challenging because it is moving against a background of nebulae that will not cleanly reject during the creation of a comet-only image. Special considerations demonstrated and section 4 below regarding Structure Removal are key. Data will be provided if there are enough requests (more than 10). 

Workflow Guide 
1. Examine, WBPP, and Comet Alignment
2. Batch SXT with a Mask and Results
3. Local Normalization (using ImageContainer) and ImageIntegration
4. Gradient Correction and Structure Removal
5. Comet Subtraction
6. Stacking Comet Subtracted Images and Results
7. DBE of Starfield and Star Shrink
8. Enhance Nebula
9. Final Blend and Result

Additional Information!



Comet At Standstill (standard comet)

Non-Perfect example, many problem solving issues.

Workflow Guide       DATA DOWNLOAD
1.  WBPP
2.  Comet Alignment
3.  SXT, LN, ImageIntegration (Stacking)
4.  Comet Cleanup and Comet Subtraction
5.  Starfield LN, Stacking and Cleaning
6.  Color Correction (SPCC) and Stretching
7.  Final Adjustments (ImageBlend and more)


Flexible Design

12P/ Pons-Brooks 2024-03-02

Challenging Data!! (wind-blurred)

Star-Tracked, No Background Shortcut


1. Introduction
2.  WBPP
3. Batch BXT, WBPP, CometAlignment, Batch SXT
4.  LN, DBE, Gradient Correction and Cleaning
5.  Star Field Generation and Comet Correction
6.  Final Adjustments and Blending