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Comet C2011 L4 PanSTARRS observed with SOHO/SWAN

Comet C2011 L4 PanSTARRS observed with SOHO/SWAN High resolution animation
Comet C2011 L4 PanSTARRS observed with SOHO/SWAN

Since Mid January the French-Finnish instrument SWAN on ESA's SOHO satellite is observing Comet C2011 L4 PanSTARRS as it is moving from the Southern hemisphere northwards. It is followed in the Southern hemisphere by another bright comet, C/2012 F6 Lemmon, not visible in the Northern hemisphere. At the end of the GIF-animation PanSTARRS crosses from the Southern hemisphere at the left to the Northern hemisphere at the right edge of the image, somewhat obscured by a detector shield of the instrument preventing direct sunlight from entering the optic. The ecliptic plane is marked as dotted horizontal line across the image. The dark area in the center is blocked by the spacecraft body.

The animation continues until March 21. From March 15 onwards the shadow of comet LEMMON's tail can be observed on the intensive UV background from a very active Sun. High resolution GIF-animation, AVI-movie (5 MByte) or HD-AVI-movie (11 MByte) can be loaded via these links.