It’s been over a year since Gregory Leonard accidentally discovered Comet Leonard using the Catalina Sky Survey’s 1.5 meter telescope. It was easily the most anticipated object in the night sky for pretty much the entire month of December 2021. Of course, it was especially exciting for astrophotography enthusiasts across the globe!
By now, however, the so-called Christmas Comet is already on the way to exit the Solar System. It now sits very close to the horizon for the Northern Hemisphere, but it may still be visible to those in the Southern Hemisphere. For the lucky spectators like UK-based landscape astrophotographer Alyn Wallace, it provided a once in a lifetime shooting opportunity. According to Space.com, the comet won’t be around the Earth again for another 80,000 years!
For those of us who weren’t able to join in the fun, Wallace shares his experience in the video above. As he noted, he headed to Teide National Park in Tenerife, Canary Islands for the last chance to witness and photograph Comet Leonard. He was also treated to a cornucopia of other celestial objects: Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter. The Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens he brought along allowed him to capture the stunning comet alongside the Teide Observatory.
Also, just a gentle reminder: There are still a number of deep sky objects you can catch until February!
Are you among the lucky ones who also got to capture Comet Leonard? Share your shots with us in the comments below, or in our group discussions if you’re already part of the Photofocus Community!