There has been much news hype lately about a special Christmas comet zooming across the sky. It is perfectly place for observers in the northern hemisphere. Two nights ago (14th) I scanned the sky with 15x binoculars below the Pleiades. There was a very faint smudge of light. Maybe that was it. We set up our 4.25″ Astroscan scope. I was convinced. Melanie less so.
Last night (15th) was especially clear. I set up the 8″ Celestron. This time it was brighter due to the bigger scope. (2x diameter = 4x light) Quite a lovely sight. But, without special equipment, there is no way I could have seen it as hyped in the news. Stories like that suggest to readers there is something special to see. They go look, see nothing, and mutter what a waste of time. Stupid science!
With good seeing conditions, proper equipment and techniques, the comet is a beautiful thing. Here is an image by Sven Melchert of Stuttgart, Germany. He captured 68 images and used software to ‘stack’ them into a composite which produced one high quality image.
For more images of the comet, click on the image below. It will direct you to a new url where you can click on any thumbnail for a detailed view. Consider bookmarking the site for return visits. If you are an astronomy buff, the site always has new and interesting images.