Seen here before sunrise from Paranal Observatory in Chile, the sungrazing comet's tails stretch far above the eastern horizon. Spanning over 20 degrees they rise alongside the plane of the our Milky Way Galaxy. A breathtaking spectacle in itself, Lovejoy performs on this celestial stage with southern stars and nebulae, including the Large and Small Magellanic clouds right of the telescope dome, and the glow of zodiacal light along the left edge of the frame. With Paranal's Very Large Telescope units in the foreground, this wide-angle scene was captured on December 23, 2011.
Image Credit & Copyright: Guillaume Blanchard
Explanation from: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap111228.html