See other posts from December 2011
Lovely Lovejoy pictures
Posted By Emily Lakdawalla
2011/12/27 10:34 CST
International Space Station,
Catching up from a few days' vacation over Christmas, here's a quick post with just a few of the amazing photos of Comet Lovejoy that have been taken from the southern hemisphere over the last few days. Comet Lovejoy is the first Kreutz sungrazer to have been discovered from the ground in 40 years, and after its surprising survival of its passage close to the Sun, it has been putting on a spectacular show in southern skies.
First, a beautiful photo suitable for a desktop background from the European Southern Observatory's Paranal site on December 22. It's part of a time-lapse sequence, which I've embedded below.
Gabriel Brammer / ESO
Comet Lovejoy over Paranal
This photo comes from a time-lapse sequence
taken as comet Lovejoy rose over the European Southern Observatory's Paranal site on December 22, 2011.
Here's a lovely one from Robert McNaught in southern Australia:
Comet Lovejoy by Robert McNaught
Captured on December 23 from southern Australia. More photos are available on the Siding Spring Observatory website
The comet's tail continues to grow, but it is also fading dramatically as it recedes from the Sun. Reports on its changing magnitude are being summarized in graphical form by Seiichi Yoshida.
Rob Kaufman, from photos by Lester Barnes, Justin Tilbrook, Trevor Barry, and Jeanette Dunphy
Comet Lovejoy grows and fades
As comet Lovejoy receded from the Sun over December 22-26, its tail spread out across the Milky Way and the comet itself faded. This composite shows all the images at the same scale.
To keep up with the latest on Lovejoy, monitor the comets-ml mailing list or the Lovejoy thread on unmannedspaceflight.com. I'll close with one of the fabulous images being taken by the astronauts aboard the space station.
Comet Lovejoy from the Space Station
Comet Lovejoy is visible near Earth's horizon in this nighttime image photographed by NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, Expedition 30 commander, onboard the International Space Station on Dec. 22, 2011.
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