31/03/13: Comet Pan-STARRS

March 31, 2013

After five failed attempts at spotting it, I finally got a look at Comet Pan-STARRS last night. A binocular sweep of the western sky from a layby on top of the clay works outside St Austell revealed the comet, and a small tail. Just above was the faint smudge of the Andromeda Galaxy M31. My estimate of the comet's current brightness is magnitude 4. I couldn't make it out as a naked eye object so it has dimmed considerably since it first appeared a couple of weeks ago. Luckily some have managed to get some really good images of this icy visitor to our skies. I had to settle with a few quick snaps before my camera battery decided to give up due to the cold! Anyhow, my favourite shot was one which appeared to include three meteor trails as well as the comet; certainly a lucky shot! I also managed a shot which showed M31 as well as the comet. I finished off with some telephoto shots at 75-300mm, but the focus wasn't great so they weren't worth displaying.

Roll on Comet ISON!

Clear skies all



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