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Stargazer Snaps Stunning Close-Up of Comet Catalina (Photo)

Comet Catalina by Chris Schur
Astrophotographer Chris Schur . took this image on Dec. 2, 2015 from Payson, Arizona.
(Image: © Chris Schur | SchurAstrophotography)

Comet Catalina and its dusty tail can be seen in this skywatcher image. The comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) passed the Sun last month and is approaching Earth in January.

Astrophotographer Chris Schur took this image on Dec. 2 from Payson, Arizona. "This image shows how the separation between dust and gas tails in this coming comet has changed dramatically from even a few weeks ago," Schur wrote in an email to Space.com.

In the image, Comet Catalina - also known as C/2013 US10 - is sporting both dust (lower left) and ion gas (upper left) tails. It passes closest to Earth, at a distance of 0.72 astronomical unit (108 million km) on Jan. 12 making the first weeks of the New Year an ideal time to observe this comet. [Comet Catalina in Pictures: See More Amazing Views]

"We have great things to look forward to in the coming weeks!" Schur added.

The image was taken with 80mm f/4.6 Stellarvue, an SV80 refractor, a Canon XTi camera, set at ISO 800 with 10 mins total integration time.

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by Space.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact SPACE.com Managing Editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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