Pity this comet is so low and in twilight. Tonight, it suffered the additional indignity of moonlight.
This was Comet PANSTARRS from my front yard tonight, March 23, in a view looking above the trees to the comet setting into the northwest in the bright moonlit sky.
It took binoculars to pick it out visually, and a telephoto lens to frame it photographically with enough scale to show some of the subtle tail structure, in what seems like a broad fan-shaped dusty tail.
We can only hope that next week when the Moon is out of the way, and the comet is a little higher, it will show off more of its developing tail in a darker sky.
As it is, to bring out the comet and background stars I overexposed the frames for this stack of four images, then turned down the brightness and cranked up the contrast in processing. It made for a decent enough portrait of Comet PANSTARRS amid the blue sky and faint stars of Andromeda, the constellation it is travelling through for the next two weeks.
– Alan, March 23, 2013 / © 2013 Alan Dyer