Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) and a Meteor Trail

Posted by Victor C. Rogus
on Friday, December 27, 2013

6 degrees above zero here in Jadwin, Missouri this morning. My alarm clock was set for 4:00 AM and it did not fail me. No choice for me now but to step out into the cold night.

I had read in a few places where amateur astronomers were reporting meteoric activity or a "sparking" in and around Comet Lovejoy's tail. My plan was to make some wide angle images with a 50mm lens and hopefully capture some of that activity.

As I worked in the cold, a few bright meteors lit up the morning sky. Geminids, I thought, then in this, my last image I noticed a small meteor trail seemingly quite close to Comet, Lovejoy. perhaps this is an illusion, a trick of the light, or maybe this photograph captured one of those reported "sparks". I do not know for sure, but this, my latest meeting with the beautiful comet, left me feeling as though I had accomplished what I had set out to do.

Freezing rain forecasted for tonight, and the Moon is getting bright so I am not sure if I will see the lovely comet again anytime soon, I will indeed miss her until we meet again.

My photograph was made on December 12, 2013 at 05:36:51 AM CST in Jadwin, Missouri. I used a cannon 60Da astro camera on a Losmandy GM-8 GEM my ISO selection was 800 and the exposure was of 53 seconds at f3.2, through a carl Zeiss manual focus 50mm lens.

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