The Story of Comet Lovejoy

By: John Goldsmith


Region: Australia and Pacific

Site: Western Australia - Australia

Date: 2011 December 22-27

The sungrazer comet Lovejoy amazed people in the southern hemisphere during December 2011. The small icy body not only survived its passage through the hot corona of the sun but in the days afterward the it held together and reformed long tails (up to degrees in the sky). This time-lapse video features Comet Lovejoy as viewed in the dawn sky from Western Australia. The sequences were recorded on every morning from 22 to 27 December 2011. The last sequence (27 December) is a collaboration of the TWAN photographer and James Athanansou. Note how the bright tail of the comet rapidly fades away in the later dates as it moves away from the sun. John Goldsmith/

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