Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Comet PanStarrs

This comet became visible last week (if you don't have billions of clouds like Knoxvile ALWAYS does!) in the mid-northern hemisphere. Last night was FINALLY clear, so we were able to view it. Most propitiously, it was beside the smallest sliver of just-past-new moon I've ever seen (1.5% illuminated), which was shocking in itself.
 Above: the moon was only about 4 degrees from the comet. The tail is dust and gas "boiling" off the nucleus (the comet itself - which is a "dirty snowball"), which could be a mile or a few miles wide. However - you can't see the nucleus - that is way too small to see from millions of miles away. What you see is the Coma,  a region surrounding the nucleus which is a million miles wide. The tail is streaming off the coma away from the sun.
 Top 3 photos taken with Canon T3 250 mm lens f5.6
Bottom 3 photos taken with same camera but placed inside the telescope, which was a Celestron f10 70mm Refractor


This last one was taken an hour and 10 minute after sunset and, soon after, the comet plunged into the low clouds.

2 comments:

dr pax said...

awesome

mom said...

noah, those are great pix, i mean it, i think you're on the right career path going astro!