Scientists operating the world’s most power digital camera, the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera, were “shocked” to find Comet Lovejoy ambling through its field of view this week. Luckily for us however, the photobomb has provided us with a stunning view of Comet Lovejoy.
On December 27, 2014 the Dark Energy Survey was scanning the southern sky when Comet Lovejoy pass through the camera’s view. At the time the picture was taken, the comet was 51 million miles away from earth (the Dark Energy Camera is sensitive to light from as far as 8 billion light years away). Given that the comet is only about 3 miles wide, it’s stunning to think something that small could be photographed when it is that far away from us!
Each of the rectangles in the picture above represents 62 individual fields of the camera. The camera has just finished the third, six-month-long season of observations.