Fading now as it returns to the outer solar system
(C/2013 R1) still graces planet Earth's sky,
a delicate apparition in
or small telescopes.
The comet, a relic
of the solar system's
formative years, is seen here rising in the morning twilight on January 12
among the stars of
the Serpent Bearer.
Posing near the comet is bright star Alpha Ophiuchi, also
as Rasalhague, from Arabic "the head of the serpent collector".
Of course, the serpentine shape below is the ancient
Great Wall of China,
section northeast of Beijing.
Panlongshan is translated as "a coiled dragon".
A moving and fortuitous scene, it was captured with a digital camera and
telephoto lens in two consecutive exposures.
The exposures were merged to show a natural looking foreground
and twilight sky.