Comet Panstarrs C/2011 L4
Comet in North Eastern sky before sunrise
For Monday April 8th, 2013

Uploaded 4/8/13

 This weekend for those of us in the deep southern US, the comet has been extremely low in the western sky after sunset, making its best show for those north of the Canadian border. But now after this weekend, the comet has RETURNED to the southern states - now rising before the sun, in the north east well before sun up. We had nearly 15 minutes this morning to view and shoot the comet in a dark sky, something we have up to this point had never done yet.

Weather has been extremely poor here in Arizona the past month too, and this morning we had one chance of clear skies before a monster cold front moved in later this day. (right now its snowing with 50mph+ wind) We are glad we did. We set up our Zeiss 80mm astrograph on a tracking equatorial mounting on a platform 15 feet higher than the ground as to clear the extensive pine forest surrounding the observatory here in Payson. This shot I am attaching is a total of 10 minutes of exposure time during the optimal dark period from 4:45 to 4:55 am MST. A canon XTi DSLR was used at ISO 800 with 1 minute sub frames. Images were flat fielded, and summed in Images Plus software. The results are our best shot of the comet yet from our location, and I am glad to be able to send this to you with the snow coming down in sub freezing out side temperatures here at our northern Arizona location at 5150 feet elevation.

The comet has a stunning colorful starfield as a backdrop, and shows both the lovely fan tail and sunward spike near the head.
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Lens: 80mm f/4.6 Stellarfvue / Zeiss APO Platform: Televue GEM Exposure: 1 min x 10 = 10 minutes total Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 7/10, Transparency 7/10 Outside Temperature: 40F Processing Tools: Maxim DSLR, Photoshop CS2 HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS