Comet Lovejoy at La Silla Observatory

Listening out of the comet

Listening out of the comet

The sky at Chilean Atacama desert is just incredible. And I was so lucky with visiting the La Silla observatory on 19th January 2015 – just right on time when the comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy was approaching close to the open star cluster Pleiades. The conditions were just amazing, so I didn’t have any problems to see the comet and capture it in the center stage among lot of deep-sky objects around (like California nebula or the structures of dark nebulae in faint northern Milky way). The first image shows view around the La Silla Submillimetre telescope (with the dome of 3,6-m telescope in the distance). Comet is just up on the left part of the view. Bright object close to the plate is planet Jupiter. In the reflection you can also recognize the Milky way constellation Southern Cross and famous star Alpha Centauri. And also you can try to find the Dark coalsack nebula or Carina nebula. Green hue is caused by airglow. Used Canon 6D Baader IR Mod, Sigma 15 mm, f3,5, ISO 8000, 92×15 s; tripod; darkframes applied.

La Silla view to the comet Lovejoy

La Silla view to the comet Lovejoy

Well, just after couple hours the comet was about to say good-bye that night, so I decided to capture that moment too. The reason was crystal – from the platform with 3,6-m telescope there was the view not only to the comet itself, but also to the rest of the La Silla domes under it. What a luck that during the sequential photography a bright meteor had fallen too. That made the resultant image much more unique… Canon 6D, Samyang 24 mm, f2.8, ISO 8000, 92×15 s; tripod, darkframes applied.

This image you can download in full dimension as the ESO Picture of the week.