AP Photo/The Fayetteville Observer, Johnny Horne In this Sunday, March 10, 2013 photo taken with a 600-millimeter telephoto lens, comet Pan-STARRS appears between the clouds low in the western sky as seen from Harrells, N.C.
Best View of Comet Comes Tonight
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Now's your chance to see the comet that passed within 100 million miles of Earth last week.
Twilight on Tuesday will provide the best photo op for the comet called Pan-STARRS. It will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere just above the western horizon – right next to a crescent moon.
California astronomer Tony Phillips said the glare of the setting sun may make it difficult to see the comet with the naked eye. But he encourages casual sky gazers to give it a shot. The moon will provide an easy point of reference.
"All by itself, the slender moon will be super-beautiful. If you can see a comet right beside it ... what a bonus!" he wrote in an email from his home and observatory in the Sierra Nevada.
Remember your binoculars, but be certain not to point them at the setting sun, he warned.
Next week, the comet should be easier to spot. It will be higher in the western sky and therefore visible for longer once the sun sets. The surrounding darkness, versus twilight, will make it stand out if the sky is clear.
Last Edit: Mar 21, 2013 16:58:29 GMT -6 by touched
cliff... you found the comet? ... that is sooo exciting... congratulations...
Sure did. Thanks !
I'm getting ready to go observe it again hopefully if the clouds don't get in the way. I'm hoping to have a little more time tonight to see more detail but just in about the 30 seconds of seeing it last night it was still amazing. It's well worth trying to find but once it gets dark enough it will be almost right down to the horizon. It is very low and the window of opportunity is slim. Good luck everyone !
Last Edit: Mar 21, 2013 17:08:23 GMT -6 by touched
Sorry all, there's still time to see it. I managed to observe for about 30 minutes tonight and I was able to get a closer look at it and see the detail. This comet is amazing.
I also took several pictures with my cheap point and shoot of the comet and one image appears to have come out half decent, especially for a point and shoot camera without any processing. There may be another one that isn't too bad plus I was able to capture a couple of pics of the thin crescent Moon setting behind some trees off in the distance, the comet too with trees .
Once I can finally fill the images in the memory card I'll take it to Wally world and have them burn it to a disc so I can share with y'all. One of my pieces to my tripod broke while I was tightening up the leg extension and then another. Good thing it's still under warranty. That's the only problems I've had with this scope thus far. Other than that it's performed above my expectations.
The comet isn't a naked eye object yet. It does require at least a pair of binoculars I would think but maybe it will brighten as time goes on. Good luck all and I'll try to get that disc made hopefully by next month and maybe it will turn out half decent enough to share.
I watched a video somewhere on youtube about Comet PanSTARRS and they were saying that there is a slight chance that the next time it comes back through our solar system years from now it could possibly collide with the planet Mars but the odds are slim.
Last Edit: Mar 12, 2013 21:41:47 GMT -6 by touched
Pan-STARRS PHOTOS: Comet, Moon View Dazzles In Night Sky[/color] By: Tariq Malik Published: 03/13/2013 08:01 PM EDT on SPACE.com
comet panstarrs Astrophotographer Josh Knutson captured this amazing photo of Comet Pan-STARRS (left) and the crescent moon on March 12, 2013 just after a desert sunset near Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
The Comet Pan-STARRS may be a challenge to spot in the evening sky, but it still dazzled stargazers around the world when it paired up with the moon Tuesday (March 12).
Comet Pan-STARRS is currently appearing low on the western horizon just after sunset, making it hard to pick out in the bright evening twilight for some observers. But on Tuesday evening, a slender crescent moon served as a celestial guide for those stargazers with clear, dark skies.
Just northwest of Rio Rancho, N.M., astrophotographer Josh Knutson and his 8-year-old daughter Aurora were amazed at the sight of Comet Pan-STARRS and the moon shining side by side.
"The seeing conditions were near-perfect, with stable air as the remaining clouds dissipated at sunset," Knutson told SPACE.com in an email. "My daughter Aurora and I were able to clearly see a fair amount of the comet tail without visual aid." [See photos of Comet Pan-STARRS and moon together] www.space.com/20205-comet-pan-starrs-moon-amazing-photos.html
Comet PANSTARRS Just After Sunset Image Credit & Copyright: Chris Cook
Explanation: Have you seen the comet? As Comet PANSTARRS fades, careful observers -- even with unaided eyes -- should still be able to find the shedding ice ball on the western horizon just after sunset. Pictured above, Comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4) was pointed out from a hilltop last week on First Encounter Beach in Massachusetts, USA. The comet was discovered by -- and is named for -- the Pan-STARRS astronomical sky survey that discovered it. As the comet now recedes from both the Earth and the Sun, it will remain visible further into the night, although binoculars or a small telescope will soon to be needed to find it.
CME, Comet and Planet Earth Image Credit: NRL / SECCHI / STEREO / NASA Processing - Karl Battams (NRL and @sungrazercomets)
Explanation: After appearing in a popular photo opportunity with a young crescent Moon near sunset, naked-eye Comet PanSTARRS continues to rise in northern hemisphere skies. But this remarkable interplanetary perspective from March 13, finds the comet posing with our fair planet itself - as seen from the STEREO Behind spacecraft. Following in Earth's orbit, the spacecraft is nearly opposite the Sun and looks back toward the comet and Earth, with the Sun just off the left side of the frame. At the left an enormous coronal mass ejection (CME) is erupting from a solar active region. Of course, CME, comet, and planet Earth are all at different distances from the spacecraft. (The comet is closest.) The processed digital image is the difference between two consecutive frames from the spacecraft's SECCHI Heliospheric Imager, causing the strong shadowing effect for objects that move between frames. Objects that are too bright create the sharp vertical lines. The processing reveals complicated feather-like structures in Comet PanSTARRS's extensive dust tail.
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leia77: Spotless, I am glad that you are feeling better and welcome back! I too am back from a long time away...
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lois: How did your Halloween night go this year?
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lois: Oh ok Sky I will check it out. Thanks.
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