Denied (again)!

Ok, so far this is the 4th time I have tried to post this on WordPress.  Not only does Mother Nature want to deny me, it seems that WP doesn’t want to let you see the minimal images that I did mange to capture.


Anyway, I began planning my perfect image over the weekend.  I decided to take my images from the best vantage point I could possibly find…Dume Point in Malibu.


A perfect view over the Pacific ocean, I would be able to image for a longer time and get more of the comet.  Hopefully, I would even be able to get some images of the planets as well.

2013-03-12 06.55.00

The day was bright and sunny in Pasadena and Los Angeles (the haze is smog).  Things were looking great!  But as I approached the coast (insert dramatic music here), this started to go wrong….very wrong.

2013-03-12 06.54.35

The marine layer had come in early! Noooooooooo!

2013-03-12 06.54.47

But the thick fog was covering the entire coast for miles in either direction and far out to sea. 😦

Thinking quickly, I was bound and determined not to miss this opportunity.  Checking the GPS, I was near Topanga Canyon.

Topanga Canyon

A quick right off of Pacific Coast Highway and I was headed above the cloud bank!

The excitement of my pursuit of a comet may be too intense for non-astronomers.  You have been warned.

Topanga Canyon

Faster and faster I sped past the twists and turns like James Bond in an Astin Martin (really, no more than 25mph because these roads are treacherous).  Going every up and west till I found a spot.  No, not just a spot, the perfect spot (at least one that I could set everything up without being run over).


There, in the center of the map image above, was the place.  I set up my equipment and began the wait for sunset.

2013-03-12 06.49.18 (small)

Sunset came in a spectacular fashion (due to the heavy smog from L.A., those of you not in a polluted city will never see these sunset, which is probably a good thing).

2013-03-12 06.57.58

Shortly thereafter, I spotted the sliver of the Moon.

The hunt was on!   The gathered throng (well all 8 of us that could fit in the turn-out) began the search.  Eyes started scanning the sky for comet signs.  Comets Ho! Came the cry from one of the attending comet hunters.  PANSTARRS was in sight.

2013-03-12 07.08.24

I dashed over to my equipment and started imaging.  Then I realized I had selected the lenses for tonight expedition based on a wide-field premise.  Damn the marine layer!  I cursed while searching my equipment bag for a different lens.  Drat, none to be had.  Resigning myself to only wide-field shots I returned and snapped away.

2013-03-12 07.08.24 (small)

A faint smudge to the left of the Moon was all I captured of the elusive prey.  Once again denied by Mother Nature.

2013-03-12 08.39.20

I imaged until, at last, the comet had passed beyond my sight.

2013-03-12 18.20.45 (small)

And as the twilight’s last gleaming was captured, I began to pack my equipment and head home to view the spectacular.  Slowly winding streets turned into freeways and a way home.  An adventure to be sure, but I must figure out what sacrifice M.N. demands of me so that, for once, she does not deny my quest to see and image her in all her glory.  Alas, I may never know, but I cannot give up.  Call me Ishmael.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +.  If you need help with any patent, trademark, or copyright issue, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.


6 thoughts on “Denied (again)!

  1. Norman … Your enthusiasm and commitment is remarkable. Success will surely come. I would love to have had the moon in the sky down here but as I said the sky was aglow with sunset. I’m following your efforts closely.

  2. Quite a pursuit.

    Unfortunately where I live, I have a big mountain in the backyard preventing the view. I may have to wait for it to be higher in the sky and fainter to get a view. (Or drive half to Kansas.)

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