Comet Lovejoy From New Mexico
Taken by Alan Dyer on December 23, 2014 @ Silver City, New Mexico
Click photo for larger image
  Camera Used: Canon Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Exposure Time: 180/1
Aperture: Unavailable
ISO: 2000
Date Taken: 2014:12:24 01:11:31
More images
This was Comet Lovejoy, aka C/2014 Q2, as it appeared on Tuesday night, December 23. It was low in the south well below Orion in the constellation of Columba the dove. It was easy to see in binoculars as a 5th magnitude fuzzy star. My long exposure photo reveals its thin blue ion tail. The image is a stack of 5 x 3 minute exposures at f/4.4 with a 92mm refractor and ISO 800 with a Canon 5D Mark II camera.

I could just see the comet naked eye, knowing exactly where to look. However, Im at 32° North latitude, placing the comet now decently high in my New Mexico sky.

The comet was discovered by Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy last August when the comet was way down under in the southern sky. But it is now moving rapidly north and brightening, bringing northern observers a binocular comet for the holidays.

However, the Moon is now coming up and will interfere with viewing later in the week. However, in mid-January Comet Lovejoy will be very high in the sky as its moves through Taurus, with the Moon out of the way.

By then the comet may be brighter and a naked eye object from dark sites. But dont expect it to be anything more than a fuzzy star. This comet never gets close to the Sun, so isnt likely to grow a bright dust tail.

This is my second comet Lovejoy from New Mexico, having seen C/2013 R1 from here just over a year ago, on a trip to see the ill-fated Comet ISON.
  You must be logged in to comment.  
20 thumbs up
previous | next
Guide to Northern Lights
DarkSky Telescope Hire
Stargazing Experiences
Home | FAQ | Contact the Webmaster
©2016 All rights reserved.