Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy: an image (31 Mar. 2017)
Thanks to a very good sky, we observed comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy again, for the third night in a row. It ion tail is always a wonderful view, while the comet heads to its perihelion later next April.
The images above come from the average (top) and sigma clipping combination(bottom) of the same 5, 120-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 ion tail is amazing, with subtle details and span for more than one degree in length.
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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