Click here for a higher-resolution image

This luminance-only image of Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) was taken around 8 p.m. EST on 24 Jan 2015, at which time the comet was passing in front of a number of galaxies in the constellation Triangulum. Ten of these galaxies are labelled in the high-resolution image linked to above, including five NGC galaxies (the ones just labelled with a number). One of these visible galaxies is PGC 10319, the tiny edge-on sliver to the upper right of the head of the comet.

During the exposures for this image an airplane passed through the scene, and instead of eliminating its trail from the final image I left it in. Remarkably, the aircraft occulted (passed in front of) both the head and tail of the comet as well as galaxy PGC 10319, which lies at a distance of about 200 million light years. Estimating the distance of the plane as 3000 feet we can calculate that the object being occulted (PGC 10319) was about 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (2 sextillion) times farther away than the occulting object (airplane).