eso9009 — Photo Release
Comet Levy Observed with the ESO Schmidt Telescope
25 September 1990
These impressive photos of Comet Levy (1990c), one of the brightest comets in recent years, were obtained with the ESO 1-metre Schmidt telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory, on September 12 and 14, 1990. On these dates, the comet was 104 and 111 million kilometres from the Earth and 179 and 176 million kilometres from the Sun, respectively. It will reach its perihelion (the point in the orbit which is closest to the Sun) on October 24.
On September 12, a 50 minute exposure was made on a blue-sensitive emulsion and shows an impressive tail, here reproduced in negative, so that the fainter details are better brought out. It measures about 4 degrees and is seen on the background of stars and nebulae of the Milky Way in the southern constellation of Scorpius. Two days later, on September 14, a 32 minute exposure was made, also on a blue-sensitive emulsion. The stars are here seen as small trails, since the telescope was set to follow the comet's motion during the exposure.
Observer: Oscar Pizarro (ESO/La Silla); Photographic work: Hans-Hermann Heyer (ESO/Garching).
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