Images best viewed against a darkened background. Tracked images commence in chapter III.
Comet C/2012 S1 – Comet ISON (circled) – photographed from the dark sky site of Limerick, Ireland at 0622 UT on Nov 19 2013. Stars, from left to right: 76 (h) Vir, Alpha Vir (Spica), 68 Vir, 69 Vir. Comet 9 days from perihelion [after which it was not seen again], velocity 200,000 km/h, est. magnitude 5
November 22 2013
November 19 2013
Above: Nov 19 2013, 0205h; below: 0440h; the comet’s rapid velocity against the background stars is apparent
The Plough, Leo, Comet Lovejoy (arrowed), Mars (2), Nov 19 2013
Nov 12 2013
Discovered by Herschel in 1781, the first such find since antiquity, seventh planet Uranus (u) mingles among the stars of Pisces – Dec 4 2013
The most famous open cluster in the sky – Messier 45, the Pleiades – rises in the autumn sky; Aries and southern Perseus [including the prototype eclipsing binary Algol, the Demon Star (a)] also in field.
If the 300 brightest stars were equidistant from Earth, three of the resulting top five would all be contained in this narrow section of Canis Major. Aludra (a-2nd), Wezen (w-3rd) and Omicron-2 (o2-5th). Omicron-1 (o1) is also an extremely brilliant star of uncertain distance. Located in Earth’s cosmic neighbourhood, by contrast, is the apparently brightest star in this image, and in the entire night sky – Sirius.