The turning point of comet Lovejoy: comet C/2014 Q2 at perihelion – online observation

30 Jan. 2015, 19:00 UT

Comet Lovejoy was discovered on August 17, 2014 by Australian amateur
astronomer Terry Lovejoy, his fifth comet discovery. Before entering
the planetary region, Lovejoy had an orbital period of about 11500
years, which will decrease to about 8000 years when it leaves the
planetary region in around the year 2050.
The comet appears as a blob of green color in the sky, coming from
molecules of diatomic carbon (C2) fluorescing in ultraviolet sunlight in
the near-vacuum of space. By contrast, a comet's ion tail (gas tail) is
tinted blue. The ion tail's color comes from fluorescing carbon
monoxide ions (CO+).

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