Category Archives: Comets

Comet Pan-STARRS – Parting Shots

Comet Pan-STARRS on April 20, 2013.  StarFreeze - 70x60 sec @ ISO 1600, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6, IDAS-LPS, Modifed Canon T3.
Comet Pan-STARRS on April 20, 2013. StarFreeze – 70×60 sec @ ISO 1600, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6, IDAS-LPS, Modified Canon T3.
Comet Pan-STARRS on April 20, 2013.  StarStreak version - 70x60 sec @ ISO 1600, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6, IDAS-LPS, Modifed Canon T3.
Comet Pan-STARRS on April 20, 2013. StarStreak version – 70×60 sec @ ISO 1600, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6, IDAS-LPS, Modified Canon T3.

August 20th was probably the last time I was able to shoot Comet Panstarrs before it fades below 7th magnitude.   I took all my gear to a spot where the comet was not blocked by trees, like at home.  Unfortunately, the LP was bad and transparency was not up to par for this night.  I had to shoot with only 1 minute sub-images to get around that.   I was also shooting right into a huge light dome from Lafayette, LA to my northeast.    I thought I would have had better conditions, but unfortunately they were marginal, at best.

 

Morning Comet – Pan-STARRS on April 12, 2013

Comet Panstarrs, Apr 12, 2013. 20×15 sec @ ISO 1600, 200mm, F/2.8
Comet Panstarrs, Apr 12, 2013. 20×15 sec @ ISO 1600, 8×15 @ ISO 3200, 200mm, F/2.8

I woke up at 3:45 AM to go out and image Comet Panstarrs on Friday, April 12, 2013.  I should have got up at 3:00 AM instead.  I didn’t think I would have problems in the field and I cut it way too close to the start of twilight.

What held me up is my mount wasn’t tracking at all at first and I had to haggle with it quite a bit before I could shoot some images.   By that time, it was already 5:30 AM and the start of astronomical twilight was upon me.   Not quite sure what went wrong.

I shot this with my Canon 200mm telephoto at F/2.8.    Its only about 7 minutes worth of integration.  I was hoping for 3 times that amount.  Oh, well…

Comet Pan-STARRS March 25, 2013

Comet Panstarrs.  1x8 sec @ ISO 800, 200mm F/2.8.
Comet Panstarrs. 1×8 sec @ ISO 800, 200mm F/2.8.

Ok, I managed to get a shot of Comet Panstarrs despite the moon and lingering twilight.   At least you see the comet.  Somewhat.  lol

It was a little difficult to shoot images and entertain visitors simultaneously.  Its a long story, but suffice it to say that by the time I was finally shooting images, the comet was already deep in the muck.  In fact, it was there by the time it got dark enough to shoot long exposures.

Oh, well… at least I didn’t scratch.  🙂

Continue reading Comet Pan-STARRS March 25, 2013

The Pleiades and Comet C/2012 L2 (LINEAR)

The Pleiades and C/2012 L2 (Linear)
The Pleiades and C/2012 L2 (Linear).  40×15 sec @ ISO 800, Canon 200mm, F/2.8.

I struck out trying to image Comet Panstarrs on Sunday evening, March 24, 2013.  It was just too short of a time to find it in bright twilight, bright moonlight and with its low altitude.  However, I tried something to redeem myself while I still had the equipment setup.  I shot the Pleiades with a bunch of 15 second unguided exposures.   I managed to catch them and Comet C/2012 L2 (Linear) in the shot.    This is cropped down quite a bit to just the cluster and comet.

By the way, the comet is in the lower right.  Its that small greenish smudge.   🙂

A Comet in the Clouds

Comet Panstarrs in the Clouds
Comet Panstarrs – 1×1 sec @ ISO 1600, Canon 200mm F/2.8

It was predicted to be clear on March 20, 2013 when I took the above picture.   However,  a low bank of clouds moved in at the last moment and messed up my plans to shoot Comet Pan-STARRS with the Canon 200mm F/2.8 telephoto lens for a wide-angle view.   The mount wasn’t tracking very well, either and I wasted quite a few shots because of that issue.    So, the only good image of the comet came through a crack in the clouds.

Continue reading A Comet in the Clouds