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Comet Becomes Visible Tonight!!!

For those that love stargazing and looking at unique things in the night sky, then a treat begins for you tonight (where there are clear skies). Comet PanSTARRS officially becomes visible in the northern Hemisphere tonight! For those of you that haven't followed, let me get you caught us...






Comet PanSTARRS was discovered in June 2011 by a telescopic survey from the top of Haleakala volcano in Hawaii. Since being discovered, the comet has been a treat only enjoyable by the southern Hemisphere, but that changes tonight. We have seen some amazing videos come out of the southern Hemisphere like this one.




How Can You See Comet PanStarrs?


First I want to mention that while it is viewable for the next few days, it will peak in brightness March 12-13 at sunset each night. It is forecast to be from -1 to +1 magnitude in the sky and that makes it about as visible as any star in the big dipper. This looks like it will be visibile to the naked eye!!!


When looking for PanSTARR, you need to look low in the western sky near sunset. It should be most visible in the 15 minutes after sunset.


Asteroid 7


It should appear as a bright point of light with a diffuse tail pointing nearly straight up from the horizon. This will basically look like an exclamation point in the horizon. NASA says a pair of binoculars should help quite a bit if you have access to a pair. NASA has a great picture to show you where to look as the days progress.




On March 12 - 13, it should be very close to the crescent moon and right now I have partly cloudy skies on Tuesday, March 12 and mostly clear Wednesday, March 13, so we should be able to see the comet!


Is This Rare?


While this is referred to as the year of the comet and you will probably get an amazing treat with Comet Ison later this year, these are normally visibile to the naked eye once every 5 to 10 years. If you can, I think it is worth trying to see this comet!


Skies should clear tomorrow night, so make sure you get out there to take a look!!!!





If you ever have any questions, please remember I can be reached on facebook easily! Just follow the link below to my facebook page and click "LIKE"!



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Marc, with the rain and clouds we in Scottsdale won't get to see "Comet Panstarr".

But get this! Real news.....my retired 66 year old husband works public relations "straw hat guys" as a p/t temporary employee for the the "D-Backs" Ball Park, at Talking Stick Spring Training Fields. I can't believe that his supv. "Megan" sent an email saying the day game (due to weather) is rescheduled to Chase Field....BUT the 7:10 PM game (Kan City vs. Rockies) will be held regardless of the weather!!!! You should send your camera's for this one! I told my husband not to go! Being the man he is, he said he will "weather it". All for $8.00 hour, maybe get hail damage to car, have an accident, get pneumonia and cost us hundreds of dollars. Next year when they want him, I said tell them no more double hitter games, no more bad weather games, and off on Sundays!

Peggy J. D'Amato, Author
also known as Peggy J. Rathbun

I'll be watching the next few days! Thanks for posting all the info.

Logan, enjoy!

Peggy, you don't have the chance next week at all?

Wow, I am sorry for the problems with the weather. :( I hope your husband doesn't get ill!

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