• A comet many people thought would be destroyed when it brushed by the Sun on 16 December, Comet Lovejoy has provided a memorable show for observers in the southern hemisphere. So much so, that it has already been called the great Christmas comet of 2011.

  • Discovered by the Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy on 27th November, the comet sprouted a bright tail as it plunged towards perihelion and into the sights of five different solar-observation spacecraft. As the comet's icy core raced in a tight arc around the Sun, it appeared to leave its tail suspended in the Sun's atmosphere, only for a spectacular new one to develop as Comet Lovejoy began to pull away from the Sun over the following days.