Palmerston North Astronomical Society

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Great Astronomical Events Revisited

The Great Xmas Comet of 2011

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The Great Xmas Comet of 2011
2001.12.21 (U.T.). Comet C/2011 W3 Lovejoy is a member of the famous sungrazing family of comets called the Kreutz Group. Being very small this comet wasn't expected to survive its very close encounter with the sun on Dec 16th, 2011. As this photo shows it not only survived but it developed into a Great Comet just in time for Christmas! The tail was 7 degrees long. There was no head visible, similar to 2 other Kreutz members in the 1880's. Photo by Ian Cooper Canon 10D, 42mm lens @ f/4, 20 seconds on 800 ISO.
Posted by Ian Cooper on April 17, 2012 Full Size|

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