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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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