Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy: an image (26 Dec. 2014)
After our first sights of this amazing, promising comet,. at Virtual Telescope we spied comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy again, while it climbs our northern skies, becoming better and better night after night.
On 26 Dec. the sky was quite clear so, despite the comet was only 20 deg. above the horizon, we could detect a lot of features in its inner tail.
The image above comes from the seven, 120-seconds unfiltered exposures, remotely collected with the PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. All the images were median combined to remove the interference of the stars as much as possible. The telescope tracked at the apparent rate of the comet.
This is a quite high resolution image, showing about 25′ of tail, but at high resolution and, in fact, it is amazing to see the complex structure of the inner, ion tail. The image shows both the ordinary and inverted palette, to grasp every subtle feature.
Below is the output of a 20-deg. rotational gradient, showing several interesting structures south from the nucleus, in the sunward direction (the Sun is SSW from the nucleus, at position angle of ~190 deg.)
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