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Saturday, December 20, 2014

 

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy, 19 December 2014

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy taken on 19-12-14 with my Canon IXUS point and shoot. 10x 15 second exposures ISO 400 stacked with deep sky stacker. and cropped to the region of interest, showing Pi (bottom) and Nu (top) Pupis and the comet (Click to embiggen)Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy taken on 14-12-14 with my Canon IXUS point and shoot. 10x 15 second exposures ISO 400 stacked with deep sky stacker. and cropped to the region of interest, showing Nu (top right) Pupis and the comet (Click to embiggen)

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy continues to delight. I missed it for a few day due to Nerd Night and clouds, but tonight the skies were clear and it was an easy catch in 10x50 binoculars from my suburban site.

This time I tried estimating the magnitude by the defocussing method. From the refernece stars I estimate it is between magnitude 6.3 and 5.9. Still brighter than the predicted 6.4, but well on the way to around magnitude 5 (unaided eye visible) by Christmas.

Reference stars were HIP 30418, HIP 30706, HIP 31099, HIP 31457 and HIP 31072.

Meanwhile the remote telescope images just get better and better with fantastic detail in the tail.

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy taken on 19 December 2014 at 2:45 am AEDST.  iTelescope T12, 3x3minute exposures Bin 2, stacked in ImageJ and Median image extracted. Click to embiggen to see the tail.  Same image inverted to bring out the tail details. In both images north is to the bottom and east left, and covers 5 degress of sky. Click to embiggen.

Here's the image from the 14th to compare.

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