C/2022 E3 (ZTF) Martian fly-by

One reason I don’t observe from home often is the narrow swath of clear sky I have through my wooded lot – even in the best conditions. But here, I caught Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) – high in the sky – just in time!

The comet traveled near Mars around February 12th, the same night I took that narrow field of view shot from my back deck. I’d gone to the trouble of setting up on the bouncy deck, got my telescopic shot just as the comet headed for the trees. I was running out of time to try a wide-field shot. But hurriedly, I piggy-backed and focused my camera atop the tracking telescope to snap this shot directly through a Canon lens.

The comet is visible in the lower-right of the shot with Mars dominating the scene and the comet just about being obscured by a tree branch. But hey, it’s something and the best I could do given the circumstances. Five minutes of tracking smeared the tree branches into an eerie jumble of tentacles!

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) taken through my Canon zoom lens at about 75mm. f4.5 single, five-minute shot at 1600iso. 2/12/23 – just as it passed behind tree branches! Oh well!

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