The last significant encounter with another Messier object for Comet Lovejoy Q2 before it dims down more and moonlight eventually spoils the view. The best part of the apparition is about over. From now on, the comet will get fainter as it recedes from Earth and heads back out into deep space.
Its has been a fun time imaging this bright comet over the last two months. I had good public exposure with 2 news organizations publishing two of my images, one of them being NBCNews.com. Hopefully, another bright comet will soon appear and put on another show for us. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 🙂
The nearly disconnected tail of Lovejoy blowing in the solar wind. Something in the local space environment disrupted it within the last 2 days, it seems. Probably some kind of solar event like a CME or rogue magnetic field change caused this.
Good transparency and cold temps helps to get good images at ISO 800. 5 minutes subs are not too noisy and stack up nicely. This image is only 110 minutes of integration and could use more time, but it came out fine for an unmodified camera.
Moving further west each night, Comet Lovejoy Q2 continues to change and present a different profile each day. It has gone back to a fan tail with streamers, much like it looked back on Jan 25 and Jan 16, 2015. There is a pattern there, but the period remains elusive.