Monday, March 11, 2013

A Marvel in the Darkness

The comet is here!

I spotted Comet Pan-STARRS Sunday night and this evening. I had photography problems last night, but this evening all was well.

Here's a shot of the comet:
Canon 3Ti, 3.2 seconds, f/5.6 ISO 1600, 200mm
For anyone looking for the comet it is essential that you have a clear view of the western horizon. Look for the comet about half an hour after sunset. The comet is on the edge of naked-eye visibility, so use binoculars to be sure that you see the comet.

Comets are truly rare gems of the night sky. While this particular one is not amazingly bright (we might get that with Comet ISON later this year), it is still a beautiful object that will only be in our skies for a short time.

On Tuesday evening the comet will be left of the thin crescent moon, so use it to be your guide. On Wednesday the Moon will be above the comet. These two nights may very well be the easiest nights to spot the comet, so head outside after dark and take a look.

Clear skies! 

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