Introducing. . . Comet PANSTARRS!

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We had thick clouds most of the day.  I thought it wouldn’t be possible.  Then it cleared up around sunset.  I went out.  I couldn’t see the comet.  The moon was spectacular, but I couldn’t see the comet.  I broke down the equipment and looked for the comet on the itty-bitty screen on my D300.  I couldn’t see it.  “Maybe I struck out tonight,” I thought.  One thing I hadn’t tried was a long exposure–beyond 2s.

I went back out and tried a five second exposure–BAM!  It was between the moon and the horizon.  Now that I had it dialed in, I zoomed in to 105mm, and took some longer exposures.

Only when I get home did I realize that I had indeed captured the comet–in many of the frames.

64 photos shot over 45 minutes.

Here they are:  my best of the evening.  A 4% crescent Moon and comet PANSTARRS:

Wide–the discovery shot:


The airport is about the only place I can find the horizon in my part of Virginia:

Turning red as it nears the horizon:

One of the better shots:


Another nice shot:


2 thoughts on “Introducing. . . Comet PANSTARRS!

  1. John Concannon

    Nice shot of Pan-Starrs. I haven’t been able to get to a good location to check it out, let alone photo it.

  2. P.Johnston Post author

    Thank you, John! I’ve seen other reports that mirror mine: It’s invisible to the eye, but extended (~5s) exposures reveal the comet. Good luck!


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