APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 4775
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:06 am

Image Comet Lovejoy and the ISS

Explanation: On December 24, Comet Lovejoy rose in dawn's twilight, arcing above the eastern horizon, its tails swept back by the solar wind and sunlight. Seen on the left is the comet's early morning appearance alongside the southern Milky Way from the town of Intendente Alvear, La Pampa province, Argentina. The short star trails include bright southern sky stars Alpha and Beta Centauri near the center of the frame, but the long bright streak that crosses the comet tails is a little closer to home. Waiting for the proper moment to start his exposure, the photographer has also caught the International Space Station still glinting in the sunlight as it orbits (top to bottom) above the local horizon. The right panel is the near horizon view of Comet Lovejoy from the space station itself, captured only two days earlier. In fact, Dan Burbank, Expedition 30 commander, recorded Comet Lovejoy rising just before the Sun in a spectacular video (linked here). Even considering the other vistas available from low Earth orbit, Burbank describes the comet as "the most amazing thing I have ever seen in space."

<< Previous APODDiscuss Any APOD Next APOD >>
[/b]

User avatar
Beyond
500 Gigaderps
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:09 am
Location: BEYONDER LAND

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by Beyond » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:17 am

Well, that certainly is a nice touch. Seeing the comet and the ISS and then seeing the comet from the ISS. Whomever thought of doing that, deserves a pat on the back and a round of applause. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: and maybe a :b: or :b: :b: :!:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

User avatar
owlice
Guardian of the Codes
Posts: 8400
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:18 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by owlice » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:30 am

WOW!!!!! What a great APOD!!!! Yes, applause applause applause!!!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

TNT
Science Officer
Posts: 289
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:57 am
Location: Heart of America

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by TNT » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:44 am

That really was a great idea. It's interesting to know what a comet would look like from space. Good going!
The following statement is true.
The above statement is false.

RunaR

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by RunaR » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:28 am

That is an awesome picture. I realy like images with conjunctions like that.

I've made an android app that makes it easy to see the ISS. It will give you a signal right before the ISS will pass over your location. For those who like to try it:
ISS Detector
https://market.android.com/details?id=c ... ssdetector

starchaser
Asternaut
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:01 pm
Location: Serbia

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by starchaser » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:52 am

Such great photos of the comet! I'm really jealous of the southerners these days! :oops: :cry:

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 12248
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by Ann » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:30 am

Image
Note that the comet's head is positioned right at cluster NGC 6231. It is particularly obvious in the picture of the comet taken from the ISS. In this (blurry) picture, the triangle brightish yellowish stars below center is Zeta1 and Zeta2 Scorpii and HD 152293. The small bright white "thing" above the triangle of yellowish stars is cluster NGC 6231 itself. Note how a "spray" of stars is curving away up and to the left above NGC 6231, ending in a red emission nebula.

In the ISS image of Comet Lovejoy, note how this whole configuration can be seen to the lower right of the comet, although "turned the other way". The "spray of stars" is curving down and to the left, not up and to the left. The triangle made up of Zeta1 and Zeta2 Scorpii and HD 152293 is above and to the right of the "curving spray of stars". The small bright concentrated cluster NGC 6231 can be seen immediately to the lower left of Zeta1 and Zeta2 Scorpii and HD 152293.

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
Sergio
Friendly Neighborhood Astrophotographer
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:26 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by Sergio » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:03 am

Fantastic composition and very original
Congrats Carlos Caccia a nice way to close 2011 !!

Happy new year to all !!
Sergio

biddie67
Science Officer
Posts: 483
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Possum Hollow, NW Florida

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by biddie67 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:36 am

Love when someone figures out the right time and the right place to take a photo!! Great pairing of pictures, for sure!

What puzzles me is why there is more than one tail ~~ what could have caused the split in the tail? And why is there an apparent curve in the tail?

User avatar
owlice
Guardian of the Codes
Posts: 8400
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:18 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by owlice » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:50 am

biddie, one is the dust tail, and the other the ion tail. Wikipedia has an article on comet tails here.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

biddie67
Science Officer
Posts: 483
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Possum Hollow, NW Florida

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by biddie67 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:15 pm

Thanks, owlice ~~ that was a great explanation!!

ruben

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by ruben » Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:29 pm

Gracias. Buen cierre del año. Desde Colonia del Sacramento - Uruguay

  • Google translation: Thank you. Good year-end. From Colonia del Sacramento - Uruguay
Last edited by owlice on Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added translation

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 7718
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by orin stepanek » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:45 pm

Beautiful! Comets are fantastic! 8-) 8-)
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
starstruck
Science Officer
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:37 am

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by starstruck » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:03 pm

Seriously cool 8-)

I remember seeing Hale-Bopp back around '97. Over a good number of weeks it provided the best view of a comet I had ever seen. This one looks even more spectacular, I wish it was visible to us in the Northern Hemisphere :cry:

sPowers

Comet Lovejoy and something else

Post by sPowers » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:27 pm

Great photos today. I linked to the provided video "http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogal ... =125774121" to view the spectacular video, and it was worth seeing. I took it one step further and clicked on the "full screen" button to view the video at full size. Now, here is the odd part. At 8 seconds, and continuing to about the 11 second mark, I saw something small appear at the horizon just left of center, then rise through the atmosphere towards the left, then apparently exit the atmosphere. I do not know what that was. It disappeared once it exited the atmosphere. My first thought was that it was a high flying jet, but it kept rising. Then I thought perhaps it was a satellite being launched. But it would have to be a polar orbit satellite, and those are pretty rare. Can anyone offer a scientific identification of the item I saw?

Wolf Kotenberg

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by Wolf Kotenberg » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:15 pm

Wonder if this interloper is related to comet McNaught ? piece of it or the other half ?

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 16914
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:37 pm

Wolf Kotenberg wrote:Wonder if this interloper is related to comet McNaught ? piece of it or the other half ?
There's no connection. They are in completely different orbits (Lovejoy closed with an inclination of 134°/retrograde, McNaught open with an inclination of 78°/prograde).
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

Wolf Kotenberg

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by Wolf Kotenberg » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:48 pm

then the only connection left is whoever is in charge of shooting comets at the sun is a lousy shot, but an awesome showman.

saturn2

Re: APOD: Comet Lovejoy and the ISS (2011 Dec 31)

Post by saturn2 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:55 am

This image is beautiful.
Happy new year 2012 to all !!!!!!
saturn2