Comet Panstarrs

Officially known as C/2014 Q1, it was discovered in August 2014 by the PANSTARRS team atop Mount Haleakala, Hawaii. The project searches for potential Earth-approaching objects - comets and asteroids - that might pose a danger to the planet.

In late July 2014 its elongation from the Sun became favourable for southern hemisphere observation in the west when it was against the stars of Cancer and Leo. By this time it had faded to around 6th mag from its maximum in the vicinity of 4th mag at perihelion. 

Around the 18th July the very thin crescent Moon beautifully lit by Earthshine had moved into the western sky to join the on-going show provided by Venus, Jupiter and Regulus.


Conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Regulus photographed from bay side Melbourne (Rickett's Point) on the 18th July 2015. Canon 5D II + 70-200mm f2.8 zoom at 70mm and f4, 1/30th sec at ISO1600.

Photographed later on the 18th after twilight had faded showing a closer view of the solar system objects and Regulus. Note that Comet Panstarrs is visible below right of the Moon. Canon 5D II + 70-200mm f2.8 zoom at 120mm and f4.5, 1 sec at ISO1600; nine images aligned to improve background sky.

A closer view of the Moon and the comet; Canon 5D II + 70-200mm f2.8 zoom at 180mm and f4.5, 1 sec at ISO1600; thirteen images aligned to improve visibility of the comet against the background sky.
Photographed on the 20th July at Rickett's Point. Canon 5D II + 500mm f4 lens at f4.5, 25 sec at ISO400; 25 images stacked in CCDStack2 and processed to reveal detail to the limit of the data. A tail disconnection event is in progress.

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