Four Comets at Once (November 22, 2013)
Hi-res TIF (1.1M)
Four comets are now visible in STEREO-A's Heliospheric Imager 2, although you'll have to look very closely to see them all! This coincidence is quite the rarity. The movies were supplied by Alan Watson, one of a group of amateur comet watchers accessing data from STEREO and SOHO. If you look carefully enough you can see comets ISON, Lovejoy, Encke, and now Nevski, especially in the video clips.
The processed images from STEREO-A's HI2 imager have labels showing the approximate locations of comets ISON, Lovejoy, Encke, and Nevski from Nov. 10-14, 2013. Many of the comets are faint - watch for movement against the stationary field of stars. Encke and ISON are easier to follow. Also in the movie is M45 (the Pleiades star cluster). The bright features with the vertical lines through them are planets. The Sun is out of the field of view to the right and a coronal mass ejection (CME) can be seen moving through the field of view.
Below we also show the same movie using running difference imaging in which each image is subtracted from the one following it. This makes it easier to see faint changes. You can read more about STEREO and ISON here.
Movies (with difference imaging): Quicktime ( 10M), MP4 (1.5M)
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to email@example.com.