Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) – MARCH 18/19, 2013

Sketch of C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) – March 18/19, 2013
Click for larger version.

While visiting family in Elk City, Oklahoma, we had a mostly clear evening and I brought a tripod out into a field to have a look at the comet. About a dozen alpaca followed me out and decided it was a good time to graze nearby.

Despite Elk City having lower altitude than Flagstaff and more moisture in the air, the comet was in great form and showing off lots of structure in its tail. I noted three brighter plumes in the main curving section of the tail. There was also a faint straighter edge along the north edge. Along the southern edge, a fainter curving edge peeled away at a broad angle, and then further down, another short, straight segment emanated from the coma. It stretched about 1.5 degrees across the width of the binocular field. What a beauty!

Subject C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)
Classification Comet
Position (J2000) Pisces: [RA: 0 35.290 / Dec: 16° 0.576′ ]*
Magnitude Not estimated
Date/Time MARCH 18, 2013 – 7:20-7:45 PM CDT (MARCH 19, 2013 – 0020-0045 UT)
Observing Loc. Elk City, Oklahoma
Instrument 15 x 70 Oberwerk Binoculars
Conditions Mostly clear, twilight, some thin cirrus
Seeing Not estimated
Transparency Nautical Twilight
*References Starry Night Pro