Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard: a image and movie – 30 Nov. 2021.

Now that comet C/2021 A1 Leonard is ready to show at its best, we captured this new image, after several weeks of cloudy weather.

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard: 30 Nov. 2021.

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard: 30 Nov. 2021.

The image above comes from the average of 11, 120-second exposures, unfiltered, remotely collected with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at the Virtual Telescope Project. The robotic telescope tracked the apparent motion of comet C/2021 A1 Leonard, so stars left short trails on the background. Images were combined using a sigma-clipping technique, to reject stars interference as much as possible.

The comet brightness increased dramatically since we spotted it late last Oct. We also made a nice animation, where the tail is clearly wobbling over the 60+ minutes covered in our time-lapse.

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard: ion tail evolution.

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard: ion tail evolution.

A clear description of what we can expect next Dec. about this comet can be found on this nice article by Bob King on Sky and Telescope.

These very last hours there is some lively discussion ongoing about the trend of the overall brightness increase of the comet, after some observers suggested it could be slowing down (why? problems in the cometary nucleus?). WE will keep a close eye on it, keeping in mind that comets do whatever they want.

Next 8 Dec. 2021, we will show comet C/2021 A1 live, check here!

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