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Saturday, December 20, 2014

 

Evolution of a comets tail: Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy from 14-19 November 2014

C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy 14-12-1415-12-14
16-12-1417-12-14
18-12-1419-12-14

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy is brightening nicely in the sky, and its tail is doing some interesting things. This is a sequence from 14 December to 19 December, all at roughly 3:00am on their respective days (except the 16th, that was closer to 11:30 pm).  The images from the 14th and 15th are strongly light affected.

You can see significant changes in the spae of the tail and the secondary spikes. Click to embiggen to see more detail.

Images are 3x180 second luminance images Bin 2 taken with  iTelescope T12. They were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker the cropped, inverted and intensity adjusted in ImageJ. North is to the top and east to the left  in these images, which have been inverted to bring the tail out. Image intensity is not constant as I was aiming to bring out the tail detail, rather than insuring magnitudes were consistent from image to image.

18-12-14. 5x180 second luminance images stacked in ImageJ on the comet and a MEDIAN Z project taken then inverted19-12-14. 5x180 second luminance images stacked in ImageJ on the comet and a MEDIAN Z project taken then inverted

For comparison, the images are 5x180 second luminance images stacked in ImageJ on the comet and a MEDIAN Z project taken then inverted. This gives a lot more tail detail than the DSS stack, even given that the intensity has been turned way up in the bottom two images.

Resolution is 3.5 arc-secs/pixel

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Comments:
Excellent work Ian...
 
Great work Ian, really like the details you have got here.
 
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