Ever-Elusive Comet PanSTARRS
It turns out that Comet PanSTARRS is harder to see with the naked eye in the northern hemisphere than predicted. On the 12th's conjunction with the moon I was unable to find the comet in the light-polluted sky over Fort Collins even with magnification but still managed to get it here (originally I thought I had completely missed recording it, heh). It was a pretty good stroke of luck as our western skies have been clogged with clouds and even here I only had moments while it was in a small gap between clouds. I'm thrilled I even managed to get this and here's hoping Comet ISON later this year is easier to locate!
I used a 300 mm F4 lens with a 1.4x converter on my Nikon D700. From looking at sky charts I knew to place the moon to the right of the frame. Even doing that I cut the edge too close to the comet, making it feel cramped. So I opted in post to extend the left edge of the image using content aware scaling in Photoshop. I did not alter the comet or moon's location by using the original unaltered image as a layer on top of the extended frame with lightness blending mode to drop them in the same location. I also selectively increased image brightness to more prominently show off the comet.
For tips on how to find and capture dim comets don't miss Steven's latest blog post here: blog.starcircleacademy.com/2013/03/hunting-comets/ ( http://blog.starcircleacademy.com/2013/03/hunting-comets/ )
PanSTARRSCometMoonNew MoonCrescentNightAstronomyNatureAstroCOColoradoFort CollinsSkyscapeEvent1610CLFF