Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy: evolution in two days (12 vs 13 Jan. 2015)
Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy has been closely monitored by the Virtual Telescope since 21 Dec. 2014, when it started showing above Italy. This comet showed a remarkable continuous evolution in its tail, as we also earlier documented. Now we want to offer such a great comparison between two nights, back to back, using our mosaics covering a lot of details in the ion tail.
Above we show a comparison between 12 and 13 Jan. 2015. Each image comes from the average of six, 120-seconds unfiltered exposures, remotely collected with the PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked at the apparent rate of the comet. Three adjacent portions of the sky were imaged for each picture, later carefully superimposed, to cover a much larger field of view.
It is amazing to see, thanks to the details offered by our robotic telescope, how much the tail changes. This fast evolution makes the observation of comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy even more interesting, if needed.
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