Astrophotos: Comet PANSTARRS Meets the Crescent Moon

by Nancy Atkinson on March 13, 2013

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Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) and the crescent Moon with earthshine over the Sonoran Desert. Credit and copyright: Nic Leister.

Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) and the crescent Moon with earthshine over the Sonoran Desert on March 12, 2013. Credit and copyright: Nic Leister.

Astrophotographers were out in force last night to try and capture Comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS) as it posed next to the setting crescent Moon. Those with clear skies were rewarded with great views, such as this very picturesque view from Arizona by Nic Leister. See more below:

Comet PANSTARRS and the Waxing Crescent Moon as seen over Castroville, Texas. Credit and copyright: Adrian New.

Comet PANSTARRS
and the Waxing Crescent Moon as seen over Castroville, Texas on March 12, 2013. Credit and copyright: Adrian New.

Adrian New wrote via email: “Here in historic Castroville, Texas we had an impressive view of the Comet PANSTARRS and the waxing crescent Moon. Both were easily visible close to the horizon and not affected by the light towers. Taken with a Nikon D800 at ISO 800 and a 2 second exposure at F/4. Lens was a Nikon 300mm F/4.”

Comet PANSTARRS and the lunar crescent in a colorful Arizona sunset. Credit and copyright: Chris Schur.

Comet PANSTARRS and the lunar crescent in a colorful Arizona sunset, March 12, 2013. Credit and copyright: Chris Schur.

Chris Schur said, “The comet was an easy naked eye object with tail from Arizona, at our elevation of 5150 feet.” This image was taken March 12th around 7:15 MST.

Comet PANSTARRS and the very young Moon, seen in Salem, Missouri. Credit and copyright: Joe Shuster, Lake County Astronomical Society.

Comet PANSTARRS and the very young Moon, seen in Salem, Missouri on March 12, 2013. Credit and copyright: Joe Shuster, Lake County Astronomical Society.

Joe Shuster from Missouri said he managed to outlast some clouds to get a shot of PANSTARRS and the very young Moon. He used a Canon T1i, Nikon 200mm AIS lens, ISO 800, 4s.

Crescent Moon and Comet PANSTARRS over Columbia, Missouri. Credit and copyright: Naghrenhel on Flickr.

Crescent Moon and Comet PANSTARRS over Columbia, Missouri, March 12, 2013. Credit and copyright: Naghrenhel on Flickr.

Naghrenhel on Flickr shared the story of this image: “It was a very cloudy night and I’d almost given up locating the comet PanStarrs. Then I caught a glimpse of the moon, only 2% illuminated, and decided to take a picture. I was pleasantly surprised to see the moon’s companion appear. I still couldn’t see it with an unaided eye, probably due to city light pollution. But the right exposure of the camera caught the comet. Thanks to the Universe Today website informing me of their close proximity or I would have missed the comet completely.”

Comet PANSTARRS as seen from Gastonia, North Carolina on March 12, 2013. Credit and copyright: Jim Craig.

Comet PANSTARRS as seen from Gastonia, North Carolina on March 12, 2013. Credit and copyright: Jim Craig.

Comet PANSTARRS from 3/12/2013 at about 7:50 pm. up on Mt. Wilson above Los Angeles. Credit: Tim Song Jones.

Comet PANSTARRS from 3/12/2013 at about 7:50 pm. up on Mt. Wilson above Los Angeles. Credit: Tim Song Jones.

Comet PANSTARRS as seen through the clouds in Indianapolis, Indiana. Credit: John Chumack.

Comet PANSTARRS as seen through the clouds in Indianapolis, Indiana. Credit: John Chumack.

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About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

lcrowell March 13, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Spent yesterday evening looking at this.

LC

cschur March 13, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Nice report Nancy! cant wait to see it in a truly dark sky this weekend…

Tim Jones March 13, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Great view from Mt. Wilson on 3/12/13. I’ve submitted pictures.

The?egan?rchist March 14, 2013 at 5:36 AM

love the top one with the saguaros

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