Comet Lovejoy in a Winter Sky

By: Juan Carlos Casado


Region: Europe

Site: Catalonia - Spain

Date: January 2015

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As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day, this deep wide-angle view made with a special filter to reduce sky glow caused by light pollution includes constellation Orion and the Orion Nebula, the Pleiades star cluster, the bright stars Betelgeuse and Rigel, the California Nebula, Barnard's Loop, and Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2. The belt stars of Orion are nearly vertical in the central line between the horizon and the image center, with the lowest belt star obscured by the red glowing Flame Nebula. To the belt's left is the red arc of Barnard's Loop followed by the bright orange star Betelgeuse, while to the belt's right is the colorful Orion Nebula followed by the bright blue star Rigel. The blue cluster of bright stars near the top center is the Pleiades, and the red nebula to its left is the California nebula. The bright orange dot above the image center is the star Aldebaran, while the green object with the long tail to its right is Comet Lovejoy. The image is taken near Palau village in Catalonia, Spain. Click on the constellation icon above the image to see a telephoto close-up view of the comet long tail clearly visible in longer exposures. Juan Carlos Casado,

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