After weeks of putting on a nice show for the southern hemisphere, PanSTARRS finally drifted into view for northern observers. We had a crystal clear sky for dusk this evening and I found a spot with a good view to the west on McMillan Mesa.
The comet finally came into view about 7:00 PM with the sun 7 degrees below the horizon and the comet 6 degrees above. It was a beautiful white fan over a gray-blue sky. The central condensation appeared elongated with the brightest section of the tail on the right (north) side. There was a hint of a fainter, shorter tail on the left (south) side. I roughly estimated overall visible length at around half a degree. I tried spotting it naked eye, but couldn’t confirm a couple suspected glimpses.
While making sketches, I had a chance to share the view with a couple people who pulled over to take a look, including Kevin Mullins, planetary science professor at CCC. I also suspect Bill Ferris was just parked a couple hundred yards up the road.
As the comet began to set behind Mars Hill, it took on a ruddier color and shared an interesting, overlapping view with passing aircraft. As good as it looked through binoculars, it’s got to look amazing through a telescope. So I’ll have to try that next.
|Subject||C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)|
|Position (J2000)||Pisces: [RA: 0 25.543 / Dec: -2° 37.961′]*|
|Date/Time||MARCH 10, 2013 – 7:00-7:25 PM MST (MARCH 11, 2013 – 0200-0225 UT)|
|Observing Loc.||Flagstaff, AZ – McMillan Mesa|
|Instrument||15 x 70 Oberwerk Binoculars|
|*References||Starry Night Pro|
3 Replies to “Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) – MARCH 10/11, 2013”
Wasn’t that an awesome view? I got to see it also at around 10 after 7pm. The coma I noticed was rather bright while still in that nautical twilight sky. I’m going for a sketch possibly when it pairs with Moon on Tuesday. You have rendered very well with that wispy fanned tail.
Dark and clear skies,
Here is a picture of my view from Wittmann Az; http://spaceweather.com/gallery/full_image.php?image_name=Juan-Perez–image_1362986072.jpg
It has been a great view! Thanks for sharing your photo–it sure is nice to capture it against a colorful sunset sky. I had trouble with your link, so here’s one that I think will work better: http://spaceweather.com/gallery/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=77519
I hope the moon-comet sketch works out. I look forward to seeing it!
Jeremy, of course you’ve seen it by now, I sent my sketch to your ASOD site which was posted at midnight. Well. I tried my best! I got a treat I want to share which you can also find on my FB page. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9z4jtDqAobQ#
Hope you like it,
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