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Tuesday, March 12, 2013


As you may (or may not) know, Comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4) is currently able to be seen for about an hour to hour and a half after sunset, although you need a spot with a good, unobstructed view of the western sky, as the comet is roughly 10 degrees above the horizon (about the size of your fist).  I searched for a good spot and found a possible candidate, Matapeake State Park which is just on the other side of the Bay Bridge in Queen Anne's County.  We visited the park on Sunday in an effort to determine if it provided a good enough view but unfortunately the western sky was cloudy just above the horizon and I was unsure if the park would provide a good enough view.

This evening the comet was a few degrees from the crescent moon, which acted as a good guide to try to find the comet. I first was able to see the sliver of the moon at about 7:25 (15 minutes after sunset) but I wasn't able to see (on the camera LCD screen) the comet in a photo until about 7:40 or so.  Unfortunately it was very windy, so unfortunately only a few shots provided a good clear shot of the comet with minimal effect from the wind and a bit of luck with a clear view through the atmosphere. The comet disappeared into the light haze from Annapolis at about 8:40. While I was lucky to get several photographs with my 70-300mm lens, I never actually was able to make out the comet with just my eyes, as it was a little too dim and a little too bright, but fortunately the camera sensor was able to see it just fine!

(Author Note: Due to the changes in the atmosphere, each shot appears slightly different.  The following 12 images are what I feel are the "best" of the approximately 300 photos that I took this evening)


Please feel free to click on the photo above to view it in various sizes. Clicking on the photo also takes you to my online gallery, hosted over at smugmug, where you can browse this (and other) photos that I have posted. If you enjoyed viewing this photo, please take a moment and leave comments and/or feedback. Please also feel free to pass the link of this photo on to others if you so desire. Thanks for stopping by!!

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