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)
Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy discovered on Nov. 27.7 his third comet, designated C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy). On our previous post about this comet you can see our follow-up image and animation.
NASAs Deep Impact spacecraft completed a 140-second firing of its onboard rocket motors on Thursday, Nov. 24. The rocket burn was performed to keep the venerable comet hunters options open for yet another exploration of a solar system small body.
Cbet nr.2930, issued on 2011, December 02, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 13) by Terry Lovejoy on three CCD images obtained each on Nov. 27.7 and 29.7 UT with a Celestron 8 0.20-m f/2.1 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector (+ QHY9 camera). The new comet has been designated C/2011 W3 (LOVEJOY).
Cbet nr.2922, issued on 2011, November 29, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 17.9) by Claudine Rinner on CCD images obtained on November 28, 2011 taken with a 0.5-m f/3 reflector located at the Oukaimeden Observatory near Marrakech, Morocco. The new comet has been designated P/2011 W2 (RINNER).
Cbet 2923, issued on 2011, November 30, reports that an apparently asteroidal object reported by the Spacewatch survey and designated 2010 UH55 by the Minor Planet Center last year, has been found to show cometary activity. The new designation is P/2010 UH55 (SPACEWATCH).
On October 19.5, 2011 we started an observing session to recover the periodic comet 171P/Spahr. T. B. Spahr (then at University of Arizona, Arizona, USA - now Director, Minor Planet Center) discovered this comet with the 0.41-m f/3 Schmidt telescope in the course of the Catalina Sky Survey on 1998 November 16.39.