Thursday, March 14, 2013


Still way behind on writing up my hikes. On Tuesday, I drove up the Angeles Crest Highway and viewed comet PanSTARRS from the side of the road. Looked great in binoculars and with a telescope. But I forgot my camera.

Yesterday, around 7:30pm -8:15pm, I stood out on my west-facing balcony and took a whole bunch of pictures of PanSTARRS. Here's one of them. My DSLR is zoomed in to 200mm. Tried a bunch of shots at various ISO and shutter speeds. Basically, about ISO 800 and 1/4 second seemed to work pretty well.

I'll try to get back to my hiking blogging before the end of the weekend!


  1. I've been trying to see this comet but I must be out looking at the wrong time.

  2. Tonight and last night, we've had some thin clouds that make it tough.

    Tuesday, it was just south of due west, about 1/2 fist left of the moon. On Wednesday, it was directly under the moon by about a fist-width, almost directly due west. By tomorrow, it should be about a fist to the right of the moon, somewhat north of west. Bright for a comet, but dim for most stuff you'll see in the sky. Binoculars will confirm your sighting.

    The Griffith Observatory has a chart, which I have hyperlinked here.

    Don't expect to see a tail like that, though. It's much shorter--maybe a moon's width in length. May appear longer as the earth-comet geometry changes, but it will also start getting dimmer.

  3. Glad you got to see the comet. I helped at a public event in Jackson, TN on March 12th and we were able to see it to the left of the thin crescent moon. It was just barely naked eye in the city lights but very nice through the telescope.

  4. Hey, Bob!

    Yeah, I saw your post and sketch. That was the same day I drove up into the local mountains/national forest, but forgot to reinsert my SD card into my DSLR before I left. Viewed it in binoculars and my 100ED, though. It was definitely nicer and more photogenic on the 12th. Darker sky, so longer exposures would have been possible, too.

    It did look nice in the 100ED.