A picture for the 10th birthday of the Virtual Telescope Project: comet C/2006 M4 Swan

As you know, this year the Virtual Telescope Project celebrates its 10th Birthday: ten years where it made history both in science and public outreach. While we will properly celebrate this amazing goal, meantime we want to share with you this image of comet C/2006 M4 Swan, captured exactly ten years ago.

Comet C/2006 M4 Swan: 26 Oct. 2006

Comet C/2006 M4 Swan: 26 Oct. 2006

Exactly ten years ago, comet C/2006 M4 Swan was surfing the skies and we captured its ephemeral beauty with a telescopic unit part of an early setup of the Virtual Telescope Project. Surfing our archives, I did find this amazing picture, showing one of the most beautiful comets I have seen in these ten years.

The image above comes from the average of 33, 60-seconds exposures, taken with a 11″-f/5 Schmidt Cassegrain + Vixen New Atlux + SBIG ST-8XME unit. Images were averaged taking the cometary motion into account.

Comet C/2006 M4 was showing a superb tail, so rich in detail; also, a satellite crossed the field of view, leaving a long train crossing the nucleus of the comet.

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