Comets / Current Event / Observational Astronomy

One more peek at L4

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Pan-STARRS (Comet C/2011 L4) on 3/29 using a 90mm Stellarvue. Photo courtesy of Tony Kroes at the Cedar Drive Observatory near Pulaski, WI.
M42 and Comet/M31 shots (4/4 and 4/5) with a 300mm Zenit Camera lens.
Pan-STARRS (Comet C/2011 L4) and M31 on 4/4/13-4/5/13 using a 300mm Zenit Camera lens. Photo courtesy of Tony Kroes at the Cedar Drive Observatory near Pulaski, WI.

Our good friend Tony was out stargazing last week and sent us these spectacular pictures of Pan-STARRS (Comet C/2011 L4).

When Amy and I were at our club’s Messier Marathon this past weekend, some club members were showing off recent pictures of the comet, and it occurred to Amy and I that we should really get out and take another look at it before it’s gone.

Tony reports that the comet was still visible in binoculars last Thursday (4/4/13), and that he and a couple of other club members were able to view the comet with the tail and M31 at the same time using wider field binoculars.

He also reports that the comet is now about 20 degrees above the horizon in the evening sky just as the sun sinks below the horizon, and is difficult to see because of the sky glow. He said that mornings are better here in Wisconsin, when the comet is up 15-20 degrees around 4:00 – 5:00 a.m.

But as Tony notes in his email, we need to have a morning soon when it isn’t either raining or snowing, and those days are few this time of year in Wisconsin. Just this early morning, we received at least three inches of new snow. I’m hoping that all this precipitation will actually bring those May flowers soon!


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