Image Credit & Copyright: Sean Parker.
Here’s a “WOW” for you from Sean Parker to help start your weekend right. This incredible image of Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy and the Pleiades open star cluster (AKA; Messier 45 or M45 or The Seven Sisters) was captured on the night of January 19 from the beautiful southwest desert. The image itself was captured in 6x 2-minute exposures for a total of 12 minutes total in this shot. Every time I see images from the desert I truly miss being able to enjoy those skies and horizons day or night.
Before we go, let’s step back and gain some perspective in what we’re witnessing here. At the time this image was taken, Lovejoy was 194 million km (121 million mi.) from the Sun and 83 million km (52 million mi.) from Earth and that incredible tail stretched out 5 million km (3 million mi). That’s more than 12 times the distance from Earth to the Moon! Now mix in the Pleiades sitting far beyond at a distance (for now) of roughly 444 light years and you have an image that almost makes me want to sit down and think about it just as much as I want to admire it; and that’s awesome! Images such as these provide just as much beauty in the form of information as they do in the display of captured photons and personally I don’t know how more aren’t captivated by that.
I hope you all enjoy this image and please check out Sean’s work in the links below.
You know; as Lovejoy has been a welcome sight in our night sky passing beautiful features almost every step of the way I will likely be posting a few more different images of this brilliant comet that will be hard to beat as we work through the year.
Sean Parker Photography: http://www.sean-parker.com/
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SeanParkerPhoto