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Comet PANSTARRS and Crescent Moon

Submitter: Ramon Navarro
Description: This image of Comet PANSTARRS and the Crescent Moon was taken on March 12 2013, two days after perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun. It was the first clear sky opportunity to view the comet from the Netherlands. The image was taken 1 hour after local sunset from Meppel. The comet is not very bright, so binoculars are an essential tool to find it. The Moon is a helpful guide, although not easy to spot either, this close to the Sun. Over the next few weeks the comet will move away from the Sun, and grow dimmer. That will be the last time we will see comet PANSTARRS, because it is expected to return only after a hundred-thousand years.

Comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4) is a non-periodic comet discovered in June 2011. The comet was discovered using the Pan-STARRS telescope located near the summit of Haleakala, on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

At the end of this year we expect another comet: ISON (C/2012 S1). This comet will come much closer to the sun at 0.01 AU and could grow a long tail, disintegrate and be as bright as the full moon. We hope for clear skies and spectacular pictures.

Exposure details: Canon EOS 500D, 2.5 seconds at f5.6 using a 200mm Tamron lens.
Copyright: Ramon Navarro
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