The comet Pan-Starrs had been seen in the southern hemisphere and now was now moving to the north. Predictions said you might be able to see it with the naked eye and NASA said March 12-13 would be the best time because the location would be below a crescent setting moon.
Wednesday night, I picked a locations looking west over Lake Apopka with a clear shot of the horizon. When photographing the night sky, it’s best to find a place that has little light pollution from the city.
Josh Cruey, another photographer at the Orlando Sentinel, had a telescope he could use to capture close-up shots of the comets. I shot an overall view, including trees in the foreground and the sun below the horizon.As the sky darkened, I spotted the comet with binoculars. Cruey, on the other side of town, called me and said he had a good close-up. He sent that photo into the paper for the next day’s edition. I made an image showing the comet as a speck on the horizon. I had hoped the comet would be bigger and brighter but what I liked even more was the gorgeous scene that looked like a picture on the Serengeti.
The Comer Pan-Starrs seen through a 5-inch refractor telescope in Central Florida. Photo by Joshua C. Cruey, Orlando Sentinel.