Categories: AstrophotosComets

Comet PANSTARRS: The Show’s Not Over Yet!

While Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) is fading to barely naked-eye and binocular visibility (the comet has lost a full magnitude approximately every week since perihelion on March 9), astrophotographers are still able to track down the comet as it moves away from the Sun. This deep color exposure by Chris Schur in Arizona is still able to show surprising detail and Chris said via email that he was “surprised how beautifully colored the stars are in this part of the Milky Way.” Chris’s shot is a 25 minute exposure, and is an LRGB (Luminance, Red, Green and Blue — is a photographic technique used in amateur astronomy for producing good quality color photographs by combining a high-quality black-and-white image with a color image).

See some more recent PANSTARRS images from around the world, below, plus an awesome new timelapse from TWAN (The World At Night) photographer P-M Hedén:

The Visitor – Comet PanStarrs from P-M Hedén on Vimeo.

Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) on April 23, 2013. Credit and copyright: Paul M. Hutchinson.
Comet PANSTARRS and star trails on April 21, 2013. Credit and copyright: David G. Strange.
Comet C/2011 L4 PanSTARRS in false color, ‘sigma combined and rotational gradient filter (inset) C8 @ f/2 85mins. exposure. April 19, 2013. Credit and copyright: David G. Strange.
Comet C.2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) on April 15, 2013. A 5 minute exposure with a Zeiss 80mm astrograph with DSLR camera. Credit and copyright: Chris Schur.

This shot was taken on April 2 when Comet PANSTARRS was snuggling up in the sky with the Andromeda Galaxy, but this beautiful image is a recent addition to Universe Today’s Flickr page. You can see more images of PANSTARRS and the Andromeda Galaxy here and here.

13 frame stack of Comet PanSTARRS and the Andromedaa Galaxy on April 2, 2013 as seen over Leitrim, Ireland. Canon 200mm. Credit and copyright: Martin Campbell.

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

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