Comet C/2013 UQ4 Catalina: evolution around the minimum distance from the Earth (9, 10 and 11 July 2014)

Comet C/2013 UQ4 Catalina: compared views from 9, 10 and 11 July 2014

Comet C/2013 UQ4 Catalina: compared views from 9, 10 and 11 July 2014

After three nights of coverage of comet C/2013 UQ4 Catalina, it is interesting to see how the aspect of the comet changed because of the evolving geometry, while the comet is leaving the inner Solar System.

Above is the sequence showing C/2013 UQ4 on 9, 10 and 11 July (click on the dates to see details for each of them). All the images were taken with the same setup, the 17″ robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope, and the same imaging parameters. This way, differences are real, that is not instrumental. The central image refers to the closest approach to the Earth, at about 47 millions of km.

It is interesting to note the residual star trails on the background. They make clear how the comet changed the direction of motion, as seen projected in the celestial sphere, depending on the view geometry involving the comet and the observer.

In all the images shown above, North is on the right, East on the top.

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