Monday, March 11, 2013

Comet PanSTARRS from Sky & Telescope

Swinging northward now, Comet PanSTARRS emerges above the western sunset horizon this week for skywatchers in the world's mid-northern latitudes. Look due west about 30 to 45 minutes after sunset. Bring binoculars; the comet is about magnitude +2 or +1.5, but it's low in the twilight: a fuzzy star with a short upward tail. It should be brightest this week, since it's passing closest to the Sun and is also barely past its closest to Earth. On March 12th through 14th the crescent Moon will help point the way, as told below.

If you live north of about latitude 35° N, the comet will climb a little higher into better view during the next week as it fades.

The chart below is drawn for viewers in the world's mid-northern latitudes (U.S., Canada, Europe except far north, China, Korea, Japan).
Image credit: Sky & Telescope
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