Not-So-Perfect Duluth Comet

Finally. Clear skies after sunset allowing my first, eagerly anticipated view of Comet PANSTARRS over Duluth. Sigh. Unfortunately, PANSTARRS isn’t really delivering the goods. I took these pictures Saturday night about 45 minutes after sunset, looking due west over the UMD campus, and trust me, even though the comet was visible to the naked eye, the photos are better than what I could see, even with binoculars. Still, if you get a chance (and the weather Gods permit) I recommend checking this underachieving celestial visitor out.

Even though it’s not a spectacular comet by any stretch of the imagination (stay tuned for Comet ISON, coming this Thanksgiving) PANSTARRS won’t be back again for another 100,000 years, and physically contemplating something so ephemeral is kinda cool. Although it’s slowly fading, the comet should be visible for the next week or two.

Here’s a link to the DNT’s Astro Bob and his guide showing how to find it, if you’re so inclined.



about 11 years ago

Contemplating this is very cool. I wonder how we on Earth look to PANSTARRS compared to 100,000 years ago, and compared to 100,000 years from now. Hopefully there will be something left for PANSTARRS to see here.  I keep remembering that scene in Star Trek TNG where The crew watches the Earth become Borgified.  Hopefully it won't go down like that before PANSTARRS comes back.


about 11 years ago

The steam/smoke on the right in the first picture is very cool too.


about 11 years ago

I am looking forward to the possibility of a very bright comet ISON. If all goes well, it could be brighter than the moon and visible during the day. 

That would be a sight. 

It is nice that we are better able to predict these comet ahead of time, gives me more time to pick out what cult I want to join for the comet's arrival. 

The Hale-Bopper's were a little extreme for me.

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