Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy: an awesome movie (03 Apr. 2017)

We have been following comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy since it was discovered early in March 2017. We are amazed to see how this comet, night after night, is increasing its brightness and shows a continuously evolving tail. To the point we decided to make a stunning video showing these dramatic changes.

Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy: evolution of the ion tail on 3 April 2017, in 80 minutes

Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy: evolution of the ion tail on 3 April 2017, in 80 minutes


The movie above comes from 69, 60-seconds exposures, unfiltered, taken back to back on 3 April 2017, from about 10:50 UT to 12:15 UT, remotely using 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 ion tail shows large variations on such a short time-scale, revealing the amazing behavior of comets, making them always a great target to study and see.

The observatory hosting the telescope 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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