Wonderful aurora display and comet PanSTARRS

Observed phenomena: Aurora borealis
Date: 17./18.3.2013
Time: 13:00-15:00
Observing place: Turku, Finland
Observing method: Photography
Technical information about photographing equipment: Camera: Canon EOS 1100D, lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS, Samyang 8mm fish eye
Observing conditions: Clear sky, 32% Moon in southern sky, light pollution

Description: this time we decided to go to observe the comet PanSTARRS with Linda to the top of Luolavuori -hill (height 65m/213ft) in southern Turku. The hill is situated in the sub-urban area, and thus the sky is light-polluted. The positive thing about this place is the fact, that the horizon is totally open to all directions from top of the hill! The downside of this is, that you have to carry your observing equipment all the way to the top of the hill..

This is a new place to me, and I haven’t been making any observing here before. It means, that there are no marker points in the horizon to help me to locate the comet, but I was finally able to find the comet about 20:00. Also some other people had gathered to the site to observe the comet. They were only casual skygazers, and they seemed to have no idea, about how/where to locate the comet. I started to look for the comet, and when I found it, I showed the comet to those people! They were really happy to see the comet!

I also took some photos of the comet with my Canon EOS 1100D and Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS. This time I didn’t have time to make a proper observation about the comet, because of the intensive aurora storm and because of the public nature of this observing session.

About the same time than I was looking for the comet, bright aurora borealis started to flame around the sky! The aurora display started very quickly to become an aurora display of really great magnitude! I haven’t observed an aurora display like this in southern Finland since year 2003! In this display, all imaginable colours of the aurora were present, and especially red and blue were really intensive! We watched and photographed this wonderful natural display at least for an hour before going home..

Aurora borealis 17.3.2013

Comet PanSTARRS 17.3.2013

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