Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) – MARCH 11/12, 2013

Sketch of C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) – March 11/12, 2013
Click for larger version.

The comet was looking better tonight and I was able to view it naked eye as a soft ‘star’ in the twilight. Besides binoculars, I also brought the 8-inch Dob to a school parking lot on McMillan Mesa. The view was most pleasing through binoculars, but some of the delicate structure was more apparent through the scope. I tried to capture the essentials in the sketch above. It’s always awesome watching a comet sink behind the treeline.

I shot and stacked a few photos with my Canon 300D, but since my lens only zooms to 105 mm, the comet was pretty shrimpy in the images. I snagged a few more photos through the binoculars and telecope with the iPhone camera. That gave larger scale, but the images are pretty noisy.

C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) emerges from the twilight over Mars Hill.

iPhone photo through binoculars of C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) as it sets over Mars Hill.
Subject C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)
Classification Comet
Position (J2000) Pisces: [RA: 0 28.211 / Dec: -0° 1.507′ ]*
Magnitude Not estimated
Date/Time MARCH 11, 2013 – 7:00-7:25 PM MST (MARCH 12, 2013 – 0200-0225 UT)
Observing Loc. Flagstaff, AZ – McMillan Mesa
Instrument 15 x 70 Oberwerk Binoculars
Orion SkyQuest XT8 (8″ f/5.9 Newtonian)
Conditions Clear, twilight, some thin cirrus
Seeing Not estimated
Transparency Nautical Twilight
*References Starry Night Pro

2 Replies to “Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) – MARCH 11/12, 2013”

  1. Wow, thanks Erika! At this point, I think the real bar for everyone has been the elusive cloud-free/haze-free horizon. (I’ve counted myself really fortunate the last couple nights.) I hope you get it and the moon tonight! I can’t wait to see the results.

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