Thursday, 28 February 2013

Comets L4 PANSTARRS and F6 LEMMON in the twilight sky

Tonight I took a trip to my local park with a good west horizon and shot some photo's of both Comet C/2012 F6 LEMMON and C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS.

It was a beautiful 25 degree C evening with gentle breeze and blue skies. The twilight colours were very nice.

You can see below a photograph showing the position of both the comets LEMMON and PANSTARRS in the evening sky on this 28th February 2013. While both comets are captured in the photograph it's impossible to visually see them in this small 1200px wide copy because they are quite small, but the crosses show the locations of the comets and sets the scene:

Wide field photograph showing the positions of Comet C/2012 F6 LEMMON and C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS as viewed from Perth, Western Australia.
To be honest the comets are not particularly large or bright for the causal novice observer to currently find. You need a pair of binoculars and a program or star chart to give you a good idea of where to look. Once you scan over the comets with your binoculars they are reasonably obvious, but don't expect to find them naked eye or easily with no binocular experience.

This is comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS:
Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS in evening twilight by Roger Groom. Taken with a 400mm lens.

To be honest the much prettier of the two comets is C/2012 F6 LEMMON:
Comet C/2012 F6 LEMMON in moonlight by Roger Groom. Taken with a 400mm lens.
I hope you enjoyed these pictures.

Edit: Check out the photo's from the next night, 2nd March in my new blog post


  1. Hi, I have an 8" Scope but atm only use it for planetary & deep sky. Do you run any astro-photography classes (or know of any) ? Im in Mindarie. Btw - Love the piccy of Comet Lemmon

    1. I should also add that the most common way to learn astrophotography is through a mixture of trial and error, and getting involved with others locally who do astrophotography. This is usually by way of joining a club. There are two clubs in Perth, ASWA ( and AGWA. Considering where you live I would expect AGWA would be most convenient to you. You may find that by going along to some evenings etc you'll pick it up. Also a good way to learn is via forums like Ice In Space: where there is a beginners forum.

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for your comet and feedback - much appreciated.

    Unfortunately for you I don't run courses on astrophotography. It is something I would like to do but this being a part time little side business in amongst full time work etc it's not something I have been able to yet.

    I have seen once in the past Rick Tonello host an astrophotography course through UWA Extensions. I suggest you keep an eye on UWA Extensions or contact Rick:

  3. Hi, thanks for all that info. I have already done Rick's course but not the photography one. Ill talk to him, thanks. Its hard to find anyone around this area. I use to go to the AGWA meetings but at the time they didnt do much on photography.Thanks for your help.