Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Comet Lovejoy on Jan. 12

Comet Lovejoy formed a nice equilateral triangle with the Pleiades and the Hyades (the horns of Taurus the bull) on Monday evening. 

Here is a picture that is a combination of 26 two minute long exposures from our back yard, here on Bonaire.  The stars came out nice and round, but the comet is a bit blurry, because it moved during the course of the imaging run.
the Pleiades are 2/3 of the way up on the left side of the picture.  The blue glow around the Pleiades is a reflection nebula.  The Hyades are an upside V shape centered near the bottom of the frame, and the comet is the greenish thing 3/4 of the way up on the right side.
The X shows where the comet was due to be on Tuesday evening.  I'm happy to report that it did not disappoint.

Here are the same 26 frames, but combined by indexing on the comet and not the stars.  So the stars show up as streaks, but there is more detail in the comet.  Click through to the larger image and check out the cool tail on the comet.

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