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Comet PanSTARRS in Tasmania, March 4 2013

Comet PanSTARRS in Tasmania, March 4 2013

Tuesday March 12, 2013

Comet PanSTARRS made a stunning sight very low in the south western twilight earlier this month. Luckilly for us in Tasmania we were blessed with some stunningly clear nights and on March 4th I took a trip up Mt Wellington to see what I could see. While the sky was still relatively bright I fired a few test shots off in the general vicinity of the comet and was surprised to have some success – pic below. At this point the comet was not visible at all to the naked eye.

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Comet PanSTARRS, Tasmania March 4 2013

Comet PanSTARRS, Tasmania March 4 2013

After a little while the sky became much darker and the comet really revealed itself. Both images below were taken with the Pentax K5 and its Astro Tracing function which I have written about previously. The images immediately below was a 20 second exposure at 70mm; and the 2nd shot was 60 seconds at a focal length of 200mm, and the stars are pin sharp and the comet is stunning.

Comet PanSTARRS, Tasmania March 4 2013

Comet PanSTARRS, Tasmania March 4 2013

Comet PanSTARRS, Tasmania March 4 2013

Comet PanSTARRS, Tasmania March 4 2013

Bloopers: Just for curiosity’s sake, the image below is the 20 second exposure from above without the astro tracer on. Not quite the same…

Comet Panstarrs Tasmania March 2013

Comet Panstarrs Tasmania March 2013 – 20 seconds without astro tracer function

…and below, why you need to be careful not to knock your tripod while taking long exposures :)

Comet Panstarrs Tasmania March 2013

Comet Panstarrs Tasmania March 2013

 

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