Taken by the Dark Energy Camera of Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, this accidental picture of Comet Lovejoy must be one of the most beautiful comet portraits we've ever seen.
There are not three, four or five, but six different night sky phenomena visible in this amazing astrophoto taken by Petr Horálek, European Southern Observatory's photo ambassador.
This photo combines a series of November 2013 observations by NASA's NEOWISE (Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer) mission, spanning half a degree. The red color, which makes Lovejoy stand out so clearly, is due to gas and dust in the comet's coma.
When the Commander of the International Space Station says he just saw "the most amazing thing I have ever seen in space," you know you're in for something incredible. We've never seen a view of a comet like this.
Rejoice, for comet Lovejoy has survived its close encounter with the Sun! NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has recorded the exact moment it went close behind the Sun, then out again on the other side, surprisingly more or less intact.