This image of Comet 62P/Tsuchinshan was captured by Badlands Observatory (BO) on Feb. 10, 2024.  Comet 62P/Tsuchinshan is in the constellation Virgo and is located approximately 47 million miles from Earth at a current magnitude of 9.4.

Upon imaging the comet, the two fascinating galaxies at the top of the frame were inadvertently captured (NGC 4608 and NGC 4596). Both are barred lenticular galaxies, located 56 and 55 million light years away respectively, and are part of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. Surrounding the bars in the center of galaxies are inner rings. NGC 4596's supermassive black hole has an estimated mass 78 million times the mass of our sun! It is amazing what one can capture, even unexpectedly, when imaging the night sky. The stacked image is 84 frames exposed for 60 seconds each.


Back to SD Space Grant Consortium Homepage