Sunday, March 10, 2013

Unless you can wait 100 million years, Time is short to see Comet Pan-STARR

Tonight (Sunday, 3/10) may be the night we attempt to see the comet. Has anyone seen it?

Time is short to see Comet Pan-STARRS - See: 6 Surprising Facts About Comet Pan-STARRS

While it only just appeared in the Northern Hemisphere this week, Pan-STARRS will be a temporary visitor. It will be gone before you know it. The comet may be difficult to locate.

"There is a catch to viewing Comet Pan-STARRS," Amy Mainzer, the principal investigator of NASA's near-Earth object hunting NEOWISE mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement Thursday (March 7). "This one is not that bright and is going to be low on the western horizon, so you'll need a relatively unobstructed view to the southwest at twilight and, of course, some good comet-watching weather."

After Pan-STARRS makes its closest brush with the sun on Sunday, the comet will begin to dim. Stargazers with telescopes and binoculars might still be able to see the sungrazer until early April, but it will fade out of naked-eye visibility before the end of March.

This is your only chance to see Comet Pan-STARRS - the comet's orbit is 100 million years. I somehow doubt that any of us will be around to see it the next time.

How to see Comet Pan-STARRS ( - stargazing tips.

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