Scope Diagram Astrocamera.Net - Astrophotography by Dave Kodama

Comet C/2011 L4 - Panstarrs

[Uncropped shot] 12 March 2013 / Nikon D700, ISO 1600 / Nikon 180 @ f/2.8 / 0.5 sec.

[Uncropped shot] 12 March 2013 / Nikon D600, ISO 1600 / Borg 100EDF6.4 + 0.85x reducer / 4 sec.

Several days after the first appearance of this comet in the northern hemisphere I finally spotted it myself. Nice sky conditions helped a lot! I had been casually trying to spot it while on a trip to the East Coast, but today I saw why I had not been able to see it. It is much smaller than I had been visualizing, and very close to the sunset. I could not see it without binoculars. It seemed to me that there was less than a half-hour window between skies dark enough to spot the comet and the setting of the comet, so this was a bit of a frantic shoot!

Comet Panstarrs is named for the telescope which discovered it - Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System), located on Mt. Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii.