Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy: an image (05 Apr. 2017)

We continue our coverage of comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy, blessed with a great weather in southern Arizona, enjoying its amazing beauty while it flies to its perihelion. And we are never disappointed.

Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy: 05 Apr. 2017

Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy: 05 Apr. 2017

The image above comes from the sigma clipping combination of five, 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. The ion tail is always different and as we saw so far it evolves in matter of minutes.

We also made a sigma clipping combination of 49,  60-seconds exposures, of course “averaging” the short-term variations in the tail, but getting a better signal-to-noise ratio of the overll cometary structure. The resulting image is below.

Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy: 05 Apr. 2017

Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy: 05 Apr. 2017

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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