Comet Garradd in 3-D

April 05, 2012

Stereo Photographer: Brian May
Photographer: Greg Parker 
Summary Author: Greg Parker; Brian May

The stApril 2012 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choiceereo image above shows Comet Garradd as observed in early March 2012 from the New Forest Observatory in Brockenhurst, England. Its nearest approach to Earth occurred on March 5 when it was 117.7 million miles distant (1.27 astronomical units). At that time, Garradd was found near the bowl of the Little Dipper in the constellation of the Ursa Minor. Look for it now, with binoculars, near the bowl of the Big Dipper in Ursa Major.

This image is composed of two sub-images having a time separation of approximately 20 minutes. Note that in order to create this stereo pair, a bit of Photoshop manipulation is involved –- simply setting two sub-exposures side-by-side wouldn’t create such an impressive 3-D image. The pair can be viewed by free viewing and by using a stereo viewer such as the OWL. Click here for instructions on how to view using both of these methods.