Comet PANSTARRS 2011L4: March-June 2013

Comet PANSTARRS was a bright comet that was visible in the spring of 2011. It was about magnitude 0 to +1 but, unfortunately, never was far from the western horizon. This made photography difficult. I was able to record the comet on several occassions.

The first observations of the comet were on March 13. It was visible low on the horizon in the evening twilight. This image shows the moon and the comet in twilight.


This image was taken using a 400mm F5.6 lens on March 17th. It was only 30 seconds long.

This image was taken on March 20th using a 6-inch reflector. It is a stack of ten thirty second exposures.

On April 3rd, the comet was close to M31 using a 180mm F2.8 lens. Clouds played a role in obtaining a good image. This is a stack of five fifty second exposures. While the dust tail was very interesting, it was not that long and its low elevation limited what could be recorded.

In May, the comet was positioned around polaris and presented a fantastic anti-tail. I recorded this with my 6-inch reflector. It was my last image of PANSTARRS.


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