Comet Viewing TonightMarch 13th, 2013 at 5:56 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
Here’s where to look for Comet Pan-STARRS. You’ll need a clear view of the western horizon. The comet will be low in the sky for a brief time after sunset. It’ll be very faint, binoculars would help. Find the thin crescent moon (in the shape of a smile) looking due west around 8 PM. The comet will be below and slightly to the right of the moon. The comet’s tail will point up (a comet’s tail will point away from the sun). The tail is roughly 80,000 miles long. The comet came to within 28 million miles of the sun last Sunday. Here’s a good picture of the comet from last night when the comet was to the left of the moon. Here’s a close-up of the comet from last night in Texas. (pic. on the left from NASA). The picture in the center is from Dave Aupperlee and taken at Forest Hills Eastern in Ada. The picture on the right was taken by Pete Mumbower in Grandville this evening. You have to look hard to see the comet…it’s a little white spot down close to the horizon to the left of the tip of the conifer tree. Click on the pictures to enlarge. BTW it’s called Pan-STARRS because it was discovered at the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Hawaii.