C/2012 X1, IC 4665 and Beta Ophiuchi

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This image, taken on Jan 26 2014, shows Comet C/2012 X1 passing through open cluster IC 4665 in the constellation of Ophiucus.

C/2012 X1, IC 4665, Beta Ophiuchi

C/2012 X1, IC 4665, Beta Ophiuchi – click image to enlarge

Open cluster IC 4665 is the small group of bright stars just in front of the comet, while the bright star on the right is Beta Ophiuchi (Celbalrai), magnitude 2.75.

Comet C/2012 X1 is currently approaching it’s perielion, which will happen on Feb 21. At the time the picture was taken the comet was about 245 million kilometers from the sun and 316 million kilometers from Earth (data from Comet c/2012 X1 tracker).