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Comet Lovejoy (ラヴジョイ彗星)


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ラヴジョイ彗星 (Comet Lovejoy) とは、オーストラリアのテリー・ラヴジョイが発見した4個の彗星についている固有名。

C/2007 E2:2007年3月27日に発見された彗星。

C/2007 K5:2007年5月26日に発見された彗星。

C/2011 W3:2011年12月2日に発見された彗星。
この彗星は肉眼的に明るくなったと同時に、太陽に極めて接近し生き延びたサングレーザーとして話題となった。

C/2013 R1:2013年9月7日に発見された彗星。

Comet Lovejoy (ラヴジョイ彗星) : Picture

Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) Before Galaxy M63
Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) Before Galaxy M63
(C) Damian Peach
Comet Lovejoy was captured last week passing well in front of spiral galaxy M63. Discovered only three months ago and currently near its maximum brightness, Comet Lovejoy can be seen near the Big Dipper from dark northerly locations before dawn with the unaided eye. An unexpected rival to Comet ISON, C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy), pictured above, is currently sporting a large green coma and a beautifully textured ion tail. Comet Lovejoy is now headed back to the outer Solar System but should remain a good sight in binoculars for another few weeks. Conversely, spiral galaxy M63, lies far in the distance and is expected to remain stationary on the sky and hold its relative brightness for at least the next few million years.

Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) with M44
Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) with M44
(C) Damian Peach
While anxiously waiting for Comet ISON to brighten further as it falls toward the Sun, northern skygazers can also find three other bright comets in the east before dawn. In fact, Comet Lovejoy C/2013 R1 is currently the morning sky's brightest. Only discovered in September and not a sungrazing comet, this Comet Lovejoy is nearing the edge of naked-eye visibility and might be spotted from very dark sky sites. Sporting a greenish coma and tail in this telescopic view taken on November 7, Comet Lovejoy is about 0.5 AU from our fair planet and 1.2 AU from the Sun. The comet is having a photogenic Messier moment, sweeping past well known star cluster M44, the Beehive in Cancer. Yellowish bright star Delta Cancri is near the bottom of the frame.

Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) and the ISS
Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) and the ISS
(C) Left - Carlos Caccia, (Intendente Alvear, Argentina) / Right - Dan Burbank (ISS Expedition 30, NASA)
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."

Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3)
Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) over Paranal
(C) Guillaume Blanchard

Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3)
Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3)
(C) Naskies
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Comet Lovejoy (ラヴジョイ彗星) : Movie

Sun Grazing Comets as Solar Probes
Astronomers were excited in December 2011, when Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) swept right through the sun's corona with its long tail streaming behind it. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured images of the comet, showing how its long tail was buffeted by systems around the sun, offering scientists a unique way of observing movement as if they'd orchestrated the experiment themselves. Since comet tails have ionized gases, they are also affected by the sun's magnetic field, and can act as tracers of the complex magnetic system higher up in the solar atmosphere.
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