Best Look Yet of Comet Lovejoy’s Slingshot Around the Sun

There have been some great images and video of Comet Lovejoy’s close encounter with the Sun, but this video put together by Scott Wiessinger from Goddard Spaceflight Center combines and zooms in on the best views from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which adjusted its cameras in order to watch the trajectory.

The first part of the video from SDO, (taken in 171 Angstrom wavelength, which is typically shown in yellow) was filmed on Dec 15, 2011 showing Comet Lovejoy moving in toward the Sun, with its tail “wiggling” from its interaction with the solar wind. The second part of the clip shows the comet exiting from behind the right side of the Sun, after an hour of travel through its closest approach.

No time travel with this slingshot around the Sun, but it is amazing to be able to follow this comet’s journey so closely!

6 Replies to “Best Look Yet of Comet Lovejoy’s Slingshot Around the Sun”

  1. This is of course cool to see, but let me go off-topic:

    Hey, Fraser, I killed many unimportant things on UT with adblock plus and scriptno. The trouble is with left and right panel. All I use is Recent Comments. I deleted even links, however, titles like Blogroll, Navigation links, Popular posts remained. Also, Sponsors in the left panel. If I kill the text Sponsors both panels get completely erased. I wish the site would be easily killed at places, separated. Maybe even middle panel expanded to the left because left panel is empty except sponsor title. Or maybe just noscripts suck. Just a suggestion. I don’t know if it’s worth bothering with it.

    1. Oh yes, I had the usual “can’t use UT for two days” outage when the new site definition bound up earlier separated mechanisms (which I think happened, I’m not going to waste any more time by a proper analysis). Or maybe just noscript sucks.

      Anyway, UT has become the main time waster on the ad-web. You have to get optimized performance out of it first, then take the hits with unnecessary ads everywhere else. :-/

  2. So now we know how to get close to the Sun (how close btw?), hitch a ride deep inside a comet. Another reason to learn how to drill these things.

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