Some of my first astronomy-related memories are the spectacle of comets Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake gracing the night sky in the mid-90s. With their bright cores and long fanned tails, comets make for excellent viewing. At the moment, we have a new comet cruising the skies, called PanSTARRS, after the Hawaiian telescope whose images led to the comet’s discovery in 2011. PanSTARRS is currently near its perihelion, visible with the naked eye from our climes.
More dedicated astronomers than myself, or rather those who did not spend 24 hours at Heathrow airport in the last few days, took to the roof of our institute and got this lovely picture of the crescent Moon and the comet, faint but clearly visible, over the neighbouring cities of Heidelberg and Mannheim. Even without PanSTARRS this picture would be worth sharing! It wasn’t quite visible with the naked eye but easily captured with some decent equipment.