Timelapse of Comet Lovejoy Rising by Colin Legg

by Fraser Cain on December 21, 2011

Comet Lovejoy (2011 W3) rising over Western Australia from Colin Legg on Vimeo.

When Comet Lovejoy was approaching the Sun, many astronomers thought that it wouldn’t survive the journey when it reached the closest point of its orbit. And so everyone was surprised when it appeared on the far side of the Sun, battered, but still intact. Again, many astronomers predicted that it would now fade away as it traveled away from the Sun.

Well, guess what, Comet Lovejoy is now visible with the unaided eye… if you live in Australia, and you’re willing to get up at the crack of dawn.

Here’s a cool timelapse video of Comet Lovejoy rising in the morning captured by Colin Legg. You can see both the comet’s dust tail as well as its secondary plasma tail. Want to see more of Colin’s videos, check out his Vimeo page.

Comet Lovejoy by Colin Legg

Comet Lovejoy by Colin Legg

A big thanks to Mike Salway at IceinSpace for bringing this picture to our attention. And to Rod Brock on Google+ for opening my eyes to Comet’s Lovejoy’s potential as a bright comet.

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

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