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Comet Pan-STARRS will grace northern skies this week

March 6, 2013 Comments off

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Minoru Yoneto snapped this picture of Comet PanSTARRS over Queenstown, New Zealand, on March 2. (Photo credit: …

Comet Pan-STARRS, which is currently dazzling the night skies in the southern hemisphere, will reach its closest approach to the Earth today, and within the next few days, it will climb above the western horizon for those living in the northern hemisphere.

Comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) was discovered in June 2011 using the University of Hawaii’s Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). Astronomers initially predicted that it would be a very bright comet, but up until last week, it was falling well short of expectations. However, as Pan-STARRS flew past the orbit of Mercury, it brightened significantly, finally living up to the astronomer’s hopes.

 

The comet became visible Read more…

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