Categories: AstrophotosComets

Astrophotos: Comet PANSTARRS Meets the Crescent Moon

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:

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, 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 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, 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 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.

Want to get your astrophoto featured on Universe Today? Join our Flickr group or send us your images by email (this means you’re giving us permission to post them). Please explain what’s in the picture, when you took it, the equipment you used, etc.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at and and Instagram at and

Recent Posts

The Milky Way’s History is Written in Streams of Stars

The Milky Way is ancient and massive, a collection of hundreds of billions of stars,…

20 mins ago

The Current Mars Sample Return Mission isn’t Going to Work. NASA is Going Back to the Drawing Board

Hmmm spaceflight is not the easiest of enterprises. NASA have let us know that their…

6 hours ago

Peter Higgs Dies at 94

Just like Isaac Newton, Galileo and Albert Einstein, I’m not sure exactly when I became…

10 hours ago

More Views of the 2024 Eclipse, from the Moon and Earth Orbit

It's been just over a week since millions of people flocked to places across North…

15 hours ago

Baby Stars Discharge “Sneezes” of Gas and Dust

I’m really not sure what to call it but a ‘dusty sneeze’ is probably as…

20 hours ago

How Did Pluto Get Its Heart? Scientists Suggest an Answer

The most recognizable feature on Pluto is its "heart," a relatively bright valentine-shaped area known…

21 hours ago