Night of the Comet on a Desert Highway

By: Alan Dyer

Mar 13 2013

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Meteors and Comets, Observers & Star Parties

2 Comments

Aperture:f/2
Focal Length:50mm
ISO:1250
Shutter:1/10 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Sometimes the best sky experiences just happen spontaneously. This was one of them – a night of the comet on a desert highway.

This was the scene at our impromptu roadside star party last night, north of the Painted Pony Resort in southwest New Mexico. About a dozen of us, mostly Canadians, gathered at a highway pull off to watch the unforgettable sight of the waxing crescent Moon setting alongside Comet PANSTARRS. You can see the comet to the left of the Moon in the background wide-field image, more or less as it appeared to the naked eye. But the real treat was the view through binoculars and my own small 80mm telescope. The series of closeups with a telephoto lens captures that view.

It was amazing to watch the comet tail and dark side of the Moon setting together as the last bits to disappear behind the mountains. All the while the winter stars and Milky Way were appearing overhead in a perfect sky, all on a mild desert night. A stunning astronomical experience.

Thank you PANSTARRS!

– Alan, March 13, 2013 / © 2013 Alan Dyer

2 comments on “Night of the Comet on a Desert Highway”

  1. Simply Stunning!

  2. Fabulous shots Alan. Thanks for sharing with those of us stuck here in the cold and rain.


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