Comet PanSTARRS | John Dolby

John Dolby
Location of photo
Tucson, AZ, USA
Date/Time of photo
2013-Mar-10 19:22 MST
Canon Rebel XT, 190mm lens, f/5.6, 0.8-sec., ISO-800, tripod.
This is about what the comet looked like through 8x56 binoculars. But it is deceiving because it did not look like this to the unaided eye! It was a fun experience because it was nothing like I expected. I thought I would wait until dark and get some wide-angle camera shots because I was expecting it to be larger. I was planning to take a series of 10-second exposures and stack them. But the comet was so low on the horizon that it didn't wait for dark. After finding it in binoculars, I zoomed in with the camera lens and took pictures that were less than a second of exposure length. It was much easier than I thought it was going to be, and the comet was nice and bright. But it was so small, I never would have seen it without binoculars.