As comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS neared its peak brightness this past September, it sported the lumpy bluish ion tail
of gas streaming off to the right in this photo, while its diffuse dust tail curved off towards the left.
Some very bright comets may also have an ion tail
, oriented at a slight angle to the dust tail and bluish in colour.
STICKY SI KY SIK TUAT ATA ION Tail
on Flybe plane like this one was fixed up with adhesive
6 ( ANI ): Astronomers, using Suprime-Cam, Subaru Telescope's wide-field, prime-focus camera, have managed to capture an image of the intricate flow of Comet Lovejoy's (C/2013 R1) ion tail
Periodic comet 2P/ Encke was on its 62nd observed return, showed its usual diffuse coma and narrow ion tail
and had a similar faint absolute magnitude to that seen over the last half-century.
While the tenuous ion tail
shows up well in photographs, it is difficult to see visually and is generally rendered invisible by the light pollution suffered by all three visual observers, who reside nearby to large cities.
The other tail, called an ion tail
, is much dimmer.
But last April, just after the comet slipped inside Mercury's orbit, magnetic hurricanes belching from the sun chopped off its ion tail
Charge exchange data shows ion temperatures increasing from 300 to 600 eV and an ion tail
energy of 2 keV with 2nd harmonic heating at 6.
Unfortunately for astrophotographers, light from deep-sky objects is extremely faint compared to subjects illuminated by our Sun, so astro-imagers need to "stretch" the low-end signal to reveal most targets, such as the Milky Way over a landscape or the faint ion tail
of a comet.
1-100 microns direction: initially antisolar, becoming curved as dust particles follow independent orbits ion tail
Denis then focused on wide field imaging, which is used to put a comet in a scenic setting, or to follow what are often rapidly moving features in the ion tail