18 Jan revised tail length, Lovejoy
- Seems the illusion of the tail extending to the Milky Way on 18 January was not an illusion. Better data from Lester Barnes of Sth Aust shows the faint extension more clearly, detectable length around 37 degrees. Image reproduced with permission, 8 x 3 minutes with 24mm lens at F2, using Astro 40D at ISO 1600, circa 12:00 UT:
The tail has not been detected coming through the MW in a couple of attempts but it would have to be detectable for well over 60 degrees for that to happen. Given its drop off in faintness you'd have to think that is unlikely. Detectable tail length is not changing much because the comet 'head' is keeping a relatively stable distance back to the MW as it moves. So this exercise of deep wide inverted shots is not telling us much more information about the long tail, other than that it remains detectable.
Bright, Victoria, Australia