Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy is putting an amazing show out there. It is enchanting us with a long tail, but it is amazingly interesting even at high resolution.
Above in an image remotely taken with the PlaneWave 17″ robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope, showing a spike-like tail and some very interesting structures close to the false nuclues. It is the average of 8, 120-seconds exposures, with the mount tracking the apparent motion of the comet. Of course, the tail is much longer than the fraction captured here (this image covers about 20×30 arcmins, with North on the left, East on the bottom). Processing was gentle, to preserve a natural sight of the comet. below is a bit more contrasted image:
Hi-res images (0.62″/pixel) were obtained with the Celestron C14 robotic unit, with its mount tracking the comet. Averaging five, 180-seconds exposures and using a gentle unsharp masking filter, the false nucleus shows interesting structures, as below:
Support The Virtual Telescope Project!
If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, LIMITED EDITION image of potentially hazardous asteroids taken by the Virtual Telescope! specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)
This post has already been read 2064 times!