On July 6, 2011, a comet was caught doing something never seen before: die a scorching death as it flew too close to the sun. That the comet met its fate this way was no surprise -- but the chance to watch it first-hand amazed even the most seasoned comet watchers.
C/2012 A2 (LINEAR) was discovered by the LINEAR survey on 2012, Jan. 15.41 with a 1.0-m f/2.15 reflector + CCD located near Socorro, New Mexico. It was subsequently placed on the NEO Confirmation Page, where other observatories (including me at 204, P. Birtwhistle from Great Shefford-J95, H. Sato remotely from GRAS-H06 and R. Holmes et al. from H21-ARI) confirmed it as a comet.
2011 UF305 was discovered by the LINEAR survey on 2011, Oct. 31.07, and subsequently placed on the NEO Confirmation Page. It was confirmed by several observatories and MPEC 2011-V16 was released on Nov. 3.
C/2011 Y3 (Boattini) was discovered by Andrea Boattini on 2011, Dec. 25.24 with the 1.5-m f/2 reflector + CCD from Mount Lemmon Sky Survey (part of the Catalina Sky Survey). He described the comet as being very diffuse with central condensation: four 30-s exposures show a 6 arcsec coma and a wide fan-shaped tail about 30 arcsec long in p.a. 240-245 deg.
P/2011 Y2 (Boattini) was discovered by Andrea Boattini on 2011, Dec. 24.12 with the 1.5-m f/2 reflector + CCD from Mount Lemmon Sky Survey (part of the Catalina Sky Survey). He described the comet as having a very condensed 5 arcsec coma and no sign of a tail in 3 arcsec seeing.
eteran astronaut Dan Burbank has seen many amazing things. Once, he even flew through the aurora borealis. So when Burbank says Comet Lovejoy is the most amazing thing I have ever seen in space, it really means something.
The recently discovered Comet Lovejoy has been captured in stunning photos and time-lapse video taken from the European Southern Observatorys Paranal Observatory in Chile. The comet graced the southern sky after it had unexpectedly survived a close encounter with the Sun.
Thanks to Jakub Černý we had the chance to works on the FRAM team fits of December 17, 2011. We sorted and stacked the best V-filtered frames, and have done some image processing on it.
Surprisingly as it may seem, comet Lovejoy appears to have survived its close encounter with the Sun. Video and images relased by the NASAs Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) caught the comet reemerging on the other side of the Sun after its perihelion.
Thanks to Karl, new STEREO-B, SECCHI fits dated back to December 13, 2011 are available. In spite of the fact that the image scale factor is a little small, its possible to appreciate the growing of a slight asymmetry of the coma (toward the north-east)