Monday, March 11, 2013

Look for New Comet this Week & Next

The astronomers at Kopernik Observatory & Space Center say that we should be able to see a new comet this week. The comet, "PanSTARRS" was first detected in June 2011 and is believed to have originated in the Oort clout out beyond Pluto. With an orbital period of 100,000 years it's not going to be a frequent visitor.

The comet has been visible to the naked eye in the Southern Hemisphere for a few weeks; now people in the Northern Hemisphere will get a view. We should be able to see it through March 21 - look low in the west right after sunset.

Check out EarthSky for Everything You Need to Know about Comet PanSTARRS - including photos and a great video about how this comet formed.

And, as you look for PanSTARRS, keep in mind this advice from comet-hunter David Levy: Comets are like cats; they have tails and they do precisely what they want.

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