C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS)

Since I started out i amateur astronomy 2008 I have observed 15 comets. Without doubt the most memorable of these was comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS). It was discovered by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) on Hawaii in June 2011 and reached perihelion i March 2013.

After the passage, as the comet rose from below the western horizon, I made numerous sketches. The comet peaked at magnitude +1, making it an easy catch. It also spawned a beautiful tail.

Beneath are some of my sketches. I used both my dobsonians and a number of different eyepieces for the observations, so please note that the field of view (FOV) varies substantially between the sketches. Also note that during the first and the last observations, the comet hoovered just a few degrees above the horizon making the observations difficult and reducing the comets appearance.

14 mars
Sketched on 14 March, UT 18:30, using a Sky-Watcher 10″ and a Baader Asperic 31 mm (40x, FOV ca 100′).
17 mars
Sketched on 17 March, UT 19:00, using a Sky-Watcher 10″ and a Baader Hyperion 13 mm (92x, FOV ca 40′).


24 mars
Sketched on 24 March, UT 19:15, using a SkyWatcher 10″ and a Baader Hyperion 24 mm (50x, FOV ca 80′).
31 mars
Sketched on 31 March, UT 21:00 using a GSO 16″ and a Baader Aspheric 31 mm (58x, FOV ca 70′).


3 april
Sketched on 3 April, UT 19:50, using GSO 16″ and Baader Apheric 31 mm (58x, FOV a 70′).
5 april
Sketched on 5 April, UT 21:30, using a GSO 16″ and a Baader Hyperion 17 mm (106x, FOV ca 40′).