Comet PannSTARRS Above The Blue Ridge Parkway

photo of the week for Thursday, 2013, March 14
Photographer: Tim Barnwell

Over the next week or so Comet PannSTARRS will be visible near the moon after sunset in Asheville and along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Bundle up and head outside at dusk. Although not visible with the naked-eye, it isn’t hard to find with an average pair of binoculars. Use the guide on the Astronomy Club of Asheville website as a guide. Asheville photographer Tim Barnwell shot the photo from downtown Asheville on Tuesday night about 8:15pm. Remember that the comet sets quickly so you very early season Parkway explorers will have only a 20-30 minute window to see it before PannSTARRS sets behind the mountains.

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Great photo!!

We saw the comet last night here in Carlisle Massachusetts. We scouted around in the afternoon for a place to view it (too many trees at our house) and chose the cranberry bog--turns out that with all our trees, the best western horizon in the immediate vicinity isn't on any of the hills, but in a low place! The wide expanse of the cranberry bog gave us a great view. It was a lovely clear night, and fairly warm. The slim moon was visible not long after sunset, but it was another hour before we spotted the comet. I never did see it naked eye, but my husband set up the big binoculars on a tripod and it looked great through them!

I really enjoyed this photo, thanks.