Sunday, December 25, 2011

Comet Lovejoy

All I wanted for Christmas was to see Comet Lovejoy and I got my wish! It has been a tiring couple of days. Each morning I was up at 03:20 and outside to catch a glimpse of this once in a lifetime event, only to be met with a tantalizing glimpse before the skies clouded over.

This morning I tried again and wonder of wonders the sky was completely clear! I raced indoors to grab my camera and snapped away until dawn. My camera isn't really suited for the job, but I managed to capture the comet, even if only just.

Below is a short Youtube video I created from all the images. The images were taken roughly 20 seconds apart and spans a period from 03:40 to 04:40.

And here's a still image of the comet and a satellite that happened to pass by. It's not up to the same quality as some of the images out there, but I'm reasonably proud of it.

Comet Lovejoy. The streak at bottom right is a satellite called Intercosmos 25.
The two brightest stars are Alpha and Beta Centauri also known as "the Pointers".

The comet itself is an amazing sight and well worth the effort to get up in the early hours. The tail is now more than 20° in length and very easy to see with the naked eye. For those living in the Southern Hemisphere Comet Lovejoy should still be visible for the next couple of days. If you want to catch a glimpse set your alarms for approximately 03:20 and look to the South. You can't miss it!

PS: Santa if you are reading this I want a DSLR camera next Christmas so I can do a proper job if something like this happens again!

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