Spectacular Comet Lovejoy

By: John Goldsmith


Region: Australia and Pacific

Site: Western Australia - Australia

Date: 2011 December 23

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The stunning tail of Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) photographed in the morning sky above Western Australia, near Perth. The 200-meter icy body not only survived its close perihelion (only 185,000 km from the Sun's surface), but in the days afterward this sungrazer comet also held together and reformed its dust and gas tails. Click on the star-pattern icon above the image to see a close-up view of the comet tail. John Goldsmith/

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