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 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 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 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.
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.
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.

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:

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.

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.