Comet Lovejoy from Quebec, Canada

December 14, 2013

Lovejoy8dec13 (2)

Photographer: Philippe Moussette
Summary Authors: Philippe Moussette; Jim Foster

The photo above shows Comet Lovejoy parading above Ile d'Orleans, Quebec on the morning of December 8, 2013. Though the much-ballyhooed Comet ISON unfortunately failed to dazzle after a close encounter with the Sun, Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) proved to be more than a killjoy. This long period comet, discovered on September 9, 2013 by amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy is currently moving through the constellation of Hercules. It’s perhaps the brightest comet of 2013, nonetheless, it’s fading now and is best seen with binoculars. Look for it high in the sky a little before dawn. Note the blue-green color shown here of the outer envelope of Comet Lovejoy is due the presence of carbon molecules (C2).

Photo details: Canon 1DX camera; 500 mm F/4 Canon Lens; 3 x 2 minute exposure; 3200 ISO.