Thursday, December 15, 2011
Comet C/2011 W3 Lovejoy Brightens!
Karl has more information and animations (including the son of lovejoy), here. For previous images, animations and orbit descriptions see this post. Rob McNaught suspects it may not get above magnitude -6 (brighter than Venus but hard to see in daylight). It looks like it may survive to at least perihelion (but then, it will probably spectacularly disintegrate now).
Comet C/2011 W3 Lovejoy as seen in STEREO H1 Behind 13 December 2011, tail disconnection seen . Raw data courtesy Karl Battams
Comet C/2011 W3 Lovejoy as seen in STEREO H1 Ahead spacecraft 12-13 December 2011, tail movement in solar wind seen. False colour image. Raw data courtesy Karl Battams
Comet C/2011 W3 Lovejoy as seen in SOHO spacecraft C3 imager 14-15 December 2011. Raw data courtesy NASA/SOHO