Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy: an image (29 Mar. 2017)
Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy was discovered on 9 Mar. 2017 and since then it showed a significant increase in its brightness. After helping in its confirmation at the discovery time, we managed to capture a new image, showing an amazing, one-degree long tail.
The images above come from the median combination (top) and average (bottom) of nineteen, 60-seconds exposures, unfiltered, remotely taken with the 16″-f/3.75 Tenagra III (“Pearl”) robotic unit part of Tenagra Observatories in Arizona. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the comet. The imaging camera is based on the KAF-16801 CCD. The resulting image scale is 2.4″/pixel. Further details are available on the image itself. The median combination limits the contamination of the stars, making the tail easier to see. Its length is more than one degree.
The observatory is placed at 1300 meters above the sea level, in the Sonoran desert, providing one of the best skies in the world. This image is the first one coming from a cooperation between the Virtual Telescope Project and Tenagra Observatories, Ltd., which will be announced soon.
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