A rival to
Comet ISON in 2013,
Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) still
sweeps through early morning skies, captured in this
starry scene on New Year's day.
The frame stretches some 3.5 degrees across a background
of faint stars in the constellation Hercules.
Only just visible to the naked eye from dark sites before dawn,
a good target for the northern hemisphere's binocular equipped skygazers.
But this deep exposure shows off Lovejoy's beautiful tails
and tantalizing greenish
coma better than binocular views.
Not a sungrazer, this
Comet Lovejoy made its closest approach to
the Sun around December 22,
high above the ecliptic plane.
Now headed for the outer Solar System,
Lovejoy began the new year about 6.7 light-minutes from