2013 Comet Lovejoy Shines Brightly, More Stunning Images Surface Online

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By Jenalyn Villamarin | December 19, 2013 1:03 PM EST

The 2013 Comet Lovejoy quietly made its appearance, while the attention of spectators focused on Comet ISON ,it continues to impress with its brightness at approximately 4th magnitude. Stunning images of the comet also continue to surface on the Internet for an online viewing experience.

Dan Malerbo of the Buhl Planetarium & Observatory reports in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Comet Lovejoy is currently visible to the naked eye at 20 degrees above the east-northeastern horizon. "Look for Comet Lovejoy this week, in the east-northeastern sky, 90 minutes before sunrise. The comet is currently to the right of the 'keystone' pattern of stars that make up Hercules," the report recommends.

Viewers will be able to catch the best glimpse of the Comet Lovejoy under a dark night sky with the use of binoculars. The optical equipment will enhance the viewing experience where the comet's tail can be observed.  

On Saturday, December 14, Austrian astrophotographer Gerald Rhemann captured a stunning image of Comet Lovejoy also known as comet C/2011 W3 shooting across the night sky with its fast, long and smoky tail. Click HERE to see the astrophotographer's photo of Comet Lovejoy taken from lower Austria.

Gerald Rhemann used short-focal-length telescopes and large-format CCD cameras in capturing the stunning sky display of Comet Lovejoy. Other images on the comet are being widely shared on social media sites like Tumblr and Twitter (#Lovejoy).

When Comet ISON did not survive its closest approach to the Sun last November 28, the German company "Eclipse-Reisen" (Eclipse Travel) was faced with a problem in their December 8 flight for 75 tourists who wanted to observe the comet. Fortunately, the appearance of Comet Lovejoy became an alternative viewing experience so the company made last-minute changes on the flight.

The company had to notify the passengers about the last-minute change that they did in the flight path. The Air Partner statement to Universe Today reads: "Most of the passengers weren't disappointed. They were more excited to see something new. Only a few journalists cancelled the flight. All photographers and experts fully understood the situation. Comet Lovejoy is no less spectacular and still very exciting like ISON and they were pleased to see it, actually. Although Lovejoy is less bright than ISON, it is weaker by four size classes, its tail is smaller and pale and Lovejoy flies farther past the Earth and the Sun."

More Articles to Read:

2013 Comet Lovejoy: Stony Brook University Astronomer and Professor Jin Koda Tracks and Studies Comet Lovejoy, Captured Images Surface Online - [READ]

2013 Comet Lovejoy: Captured Image from Subaru Telescope's Suprime-Cam Clearly Show Comet's Tail - [READ]

2013 Comet ISON: Science Channel to Have Exclusive Documentary on Comet ISON's Trip Across the Solar System - [READ]

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