Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2011
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
Here's a lovely one from Robert McNaught in southern Australia:
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
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.
International Space Station
Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary SocietyRead more articles by Emily Lakdawalla
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