Comet PanSTARRS is coming! I propose a trip to Skyline Drive.

I have found Skyline Drive to be a great place to shoot night shots, as arriving before sunset will allow some possibly great sunset photos, then as the sky darkens it's a great place to shoot stars, and even the milky way!

There is not much light pollution at this location, though it is about 1.5 hours from Vienna Metro. I'll volunteer to drive 3-4 others if we make this happen.

The Comet will become visible to the naked eye around February 15th, and will increase in apparent brightness for about 4 weeks. I'm suggesting one early date, and if it's a hit, we can then book the following 2-3 weekends to allow for people to return, or for people who could not make the first. I don't mind driving each time. There is plenty of parking at Vienna Metro, as well as at the particular site on Skyline drive that I have in mind.

This meetup WILL be cancelled in the event of serious cloud cover in the area of Sperryville, VA. Scattered clouds will NOT cancel the meetup.

I personally WILL be going on this date, no matter what, except for serious cloud cover.

Please check the meetup calendar to make sure this event is still on, no matter what the weather is.

I'm leaving from the Germantown Area, and will stop at Vienna Metro if anyone wants to meet there. The Centerville Park and ride is also a popular meeting spot, and we can set that up as well if people desire.

Sunset is around 6PM at the site, so i suggest arriving at 5:30, which means LEAVING Vienna metro at 4:00PM. I'll be leaving Germantown at 3:15 if anyone needs a ride from there.

The Vienna Metro meeting place will be on the NORTH side of Vienna Metro.

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  • Richard (Rick) D.

    This was my first meetup, I had a blast. Looking forward to many more. Really enjoyed meeting Jim, Mark, Paul and Ann. Excited for next weekend's meetup in DC.

    1 · March 24, 2013

  • Mark W.

    Very fun night. Even though the clouds didn't cooperate, I got some good night shooting in. I had a lot of fun and can't wait to see everyone's photos.

    March 24, 2013

  • Richard (Rick) D.

    Just arrived.

    March 23, 2013

  • Raj

    Cannt attend tonight, something came up at work.

    March 23, 2013

  • Mark W.

    I am getting a late start. I will meet everyone out there.

    March 23, 2013

  • Jennifer

    I'm I can't attend. I hope there is another trip there soon.

    March 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Having never shot a comet before can anyone provide any recommendations on lens to bring, gear etc?

    March 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Mark! I was thinking i have my[masked]mm with an 2x extender and then something for the wide angle shots.

      March 23, 2013

    • Elizabeth W.

      Spare batteries! Or some way to keep the battery warm while in the camera, otherwise you run the risk of the camera "dying" as the battery freezes. The battery okay once it's warmed up... keep the spares warm (inside pocket)...

      March 23, 2013

  • Elizabeth W.

    Make sure the location you are proposing has a view... I've gotten pics already but location is key.

    1 · March 17, 2013

    • Elizabeth W.

      I've been observing from my apt in Alexandria and from campus in College Park (top of a parking garage)...

      March 23, 2013

  • Raj

    I am Rockville. Anybody interested in carpooling from Rockville/Bethesda?

    March 22, 2013

  • Jim D.

    Could someone provide the name of the parking area or overlook we are meeting instead of coordinates?

    2 · March 22, 2013

    • Mark W.

      I believe it is the parking area for Hughes River Gap.

      March 22, 2013

  • chris

    Is the vienna metro meeting point still on at this point?

    March 22, 2013

  • Mark W.

    I am going to be leaving from Fairfax Va (near Fairoaks Mall) if anyone wants to car pool.

    March 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hope March 23rd still holds good, any particular camera settings you have in mind for taking such shots. apart from shooting the comet can we make for shooting Milky way too. Most important March 23, believe there will be enough cold at that place, so hope its better to be with layers

    March 19, 2013

  • Thomas A.

    Unfortunately can't make the new date...hopefully next event!

    March 18, 2013

  • Richard L.

    The last comet I had anything to do with was Kohoutek in "74 when I was at Wm & Mary. I made a huge lens by combining a U-2 spy plane lens mounted to a 50mm prime and took a shot that made Scientific American. Wishing I still had that lens.

    1 · March 18, 2013

  • Debbie M.

    New date unable to attend

    March 18, 2013

  • Bill M.

    Won't be able to attend on the rescheduled date, already have something else scheduled.

    March 18, 2013

  • Stephen S.

    sorry, we have out of town family that weekend.

    March 14, 2013

  • A former member

    A former member changed the date and time from Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM to Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    March 14, 2013

  • Ken

    The portion of Skyline Drive from Thornton Gap (Hwy 211) to Big Meadows is now open.

    1 · March 13, 2013

  • Ken

    The entire length of Skyline Drive is currently closed due to snow and ice. This may change during the week and you can get current road conditions by calling[masked], 1, 1.

    March 12, 2013

  • Darlene G.

    So bummed, I'm not going to make this, but My dad's in the hospital now and I'll have to be home for him this weekend. Maybe next time.

    March 12, 2013

  • Roddy H.

    I have a conflict and cannot make it.

    March 12, 2013

  • Lance

    FYI most of the parkway is closed because of the snowstorm. trees are down etc and it is on the bottom of the list for clean up.

    March 12, 2013

  • Mark W.

    I can fit a few (3 or 4) in my can. I am in Fairfax by Fairoaks mall. The weather looks sketchy but hopefully it works out.

    March 11, 2013

  • LP

    I'm down. Anyone in Arlington area that need a ride let me know. I can fit 1 more (or 3 more) in my coupe if you don't mind the tight space in the back.

    March 11, 2013

  • Doug S.

    Had to go to Chicago. Won't be back until Sunday. Have fun!

    March 11, 2013

  • Takeeta

    anyone coming from the baltimore county area willing to carpool?

    March 11, 2013

  • Alice C.

    is anyone ride sharing?

    February 23, 2013

  • Larry D.

    Sorry, I'll be out of town.

    February 20, 2013

  • A former member

    A former member changed the date and time from Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 4:00 PM to Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    February 15, 2013

  • A former member

    February 15, 2013

  • Mark Weaver removed the location. It was Vienna Metro

    February 15, 2013

  • Larry D.

    I'm in, but I'll be coming from Fredericksburg, so I'll meet you at the final destination (Big Meadow, perhaps?)

    If anyone in the Burg needs a ride lemme know.

    February 4, 2013

  • Steven C.

    A few notes about PANSTARRS C2011/L4: It's less bright than predicted. May reach magnitude 0. It will be low in the western sky after sunset. It is forecast to peak on March 10th. http://waitingforison.wordpress.com/comet-panstarrs

    January 28, 2013

  • Lance

    Where on the skyline is it i will be coming from the south and will meet there. Big meadows?

    January 27, 2013

  • Lee M.

    This should be fun. I'd like to bring my daughters if that is okay.

    January 24, 2013

  • Pruitt A.

    I went up for the Geminids meteor shower, and Skyline was closed for hunting season so we had to go to a second location (which was still great but not AS great). We should definitely do this, which sounds COOL, but check in with NPS a few days in advance to make sure the drive isn't closed for some reason.

    January 12, 2013

    • Darlene G.

      Hunting Season in VA is over so we should be ok in that aspect.

      January 16, 2013

  • Darlene G.

    I don't know that I have the necesary gear for taking such photos, but I'm game, I love just seeing the comets if nothing else. I'll be driving 17 to 211 so I'll need to know which lookout you'll be at. Or will you be at Big Medows?

    January 15, 2013

  • Mark W.

    I can possibly take up to 3 or 4 people with gear (minivan). I live in Greenbrier (Fairfax near Fair Oaks Mall). Is there a way to give me the GPS coordinates for the final destination in case there is a break in the convoy heading up? This shoot sounds like a lot of fun.

    January 14, 2013

  • Jim D.

    Vincent, The metro location is as far away from my house as is from Skyline Drive. Can we meet at one of the pull offs or the entrance?

    January 12, 2013

  • John S.

    I would also like o meet on the drive. Just let me know the mm.

    January 12, 2013

  • Jim D.

    Great idea!

    January 12, 2013

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