Hurtling through space at about 35 miles (56 kilometers) per second, Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) swept closest to Mars on October 19, 2014. It swept extremely close to the planet, closer than any known comet in recorded history. We’re just beginning to see the photos from this event. See the best ones here …
Colin Chatfield wrote from Canada:
It was very windy out, so some of the trees appear blurry. The full moon was also behind me, so I was able to use that as a natural light source for the foreground.
Rolando Ligustri in Italy caught Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring passing nearly in front of M6 – sometimes called the Butterfly Cluster – in the tail of the constellation Scorpius on October 9. Professional astronomers recently announced the comet began losing brightness in September. But it is still beautiful, and still has a sweeping comet tail. Its close encounter with the planet Mars on October 19 – one week from today – is much anticipated.
This unnamed crater is only 1.5 kilometers / 0.93 miles wide. It’s made more visible by the deep shadows cast on a Mercury afternoon.
A beautiful total lunar eclipse. Thanks to all who posted at EarthSky Facebook and G+!
As Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko gets closer to the sun, it’s becoming more active. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft – which has been flying in tandem with the comet since August 6 – captured the images to make the above montage on September 26, 2014, when Rosetta was 16 miles (26 kilometers) from the comet. The montage shows jets of dust and gas escaping from the neck of 67P/C-G.
Beautiful sunset in northern Montana’s Glacier National Park by Sashikanth Chintia Photography
Daniel McVey in Summit County, Colorado has contributed some of the most beautiful images to our pages. He posted this one on EarthSky Facebook and wrote:
Inspired in part by a photo of Ansel Adams on his “Woody.”
Lynton Brown stitched together 9 portrait images to show the Milky Way over Green Lake, in Horsham, Australia on September 21, 2014. The glow above the water on the right – behind the tree – are town lights over Horsham. And the mysterious glow on the left? It’s the elusive zodiacal light.
A beautiful photo to honor the sun at the equinox.