Home > Astronomy, Comets, Solar System > Comet Will Be Visible In Northern Hemisphere In March

Comet Will Be Visible In Northern Hemisphere In March


Credit: Terry Lovejoy/ Austrailia

Credit: Terry Lovejoy/ Austrailia

Comet Pan-STARRS C/2011 L4, discovered by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala in June 2011, is expected to become visible to the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere in March. The comet is currently visible in the Southern Hemisphere.

From about March 7, it will appear above the horizon. To see it, you will need an unobstructed, cloudless view of the western horizon. It is best to pick a dark spot, away from streetlights. Look in the direction of the Sunset just after the Sun has gone down. The comet will be just above the horizon. The twilight sky will make the comet much harder to see than if it were high up in a dark sky, and moonlight will interfere with viewing the comet after March 13. To see the comet’s tails, you may need a pair of binoculars.

Although the brightness of comets is notoriously difficult to predict ahead of time, scientists expect this comet will have a brightness similar to that of the stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper or Orion’s belt (magnitude 2 to 3). March 13 may be the best time to take an interesting picture of the comet because on that evening, it will appear just below the thin crescent Moon.

Additional Info: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/press-releases/CometPANSTARRS/
Photo: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/press-releases/CometPANSTARRS/CometPANSTARRS_by_T.Lovejoy-Australia_HR.jpeg

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  1. RayKobes
    February 23, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    This sounds very intriguing. I hope that it is bright enough to clearly see.

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