Comet (C/2012 K1 Panstarrs) - May 27, 2014


Comet (C/2012 K1 Panstarrs) - May 27, 2014
Comet (C/2012 K1 Panstarrs) – May 27, 2014

Object: Comet (C/2012 K1 Panstarrs)
Date: May 27, 2014
Location: Aguila, Arizona USA
Medium: Digital, iPhone – The following apps were used to render the sketch; Sketchbook Mobile, Juxtaposer, Paint FX & eZY Watermark.
Instruments: Binoculars- Orion 25×100 and Celestron 8×56 with a FoV of 2.5 degrees and 5.8 degrees respectively.
Magnitude: 8.5
Weather: One cannot ask for a better night than, 75 degrees F and no winds! A superb clear and dark sky with an average read out of 21.6 mag/arcsec^2.


The comet is not a naked eye object just yet. However, with the help of a good dark site, averted vision and my 8×56 binos, you can detect “her fuzziness” among the stars. My guiding or go-to star was 52Psi UMa. Below or to the west of 52Psi UMa, are three stars of almost equal magnitude. Within those stars, there appeared the the dirty chunk of sublimating matter. No other physical characteristics were noticed using the 8×56 binoculars except to spot the fuzzy traveler.
Wohoo, we have a tail! That’s what the 25×100 will reveal. Yes, the coma and false nucleus become evident along with the dust tail. Dim but noticeable is the dust tail that is somewhat broad and undefined, extending towards the east. I would calculate it to be about 1/3rd of a degree in length. Glowing at magnitude 8.5 according to some sources, comet Panstarrs also, showed a faint stellar nucleus. I gave an estimate to its degree of condensation to be between 4 and 5. I tried to look for any greenish hue but none was noticed. Panstarrs C/2012 K1 is a tenuous comet that’s a challenge to observe but, will give us some more and better opportunities as the months progress.

About the sketch- I’d like to add that digital sketching is not a scopeside skill that I have mastered. I made many attempts to plot the starfield of the binoculars with no success. The repetitive task of looking back and forth between iPhone and binoculars killed my dark adapted eyes.The iPhone is very bright even when the screen brightness is vastly decreased. So the next logical steps was to take all information on paper, plus make mental notes of all and any pertinent physical traits. Once that was done, I went ahead back to the iPhone like a champ and put all that info to visualization. Enjoy!

Clear and Dark Skies,



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