Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS)

Just like Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) visible later this year, within the next few weeks, PANSTARRS is coming.. and it’s coming with a vengeance..

Willis-GI-JoeListen Bruce, there’s nothing you can do to stop it this time..

Currently giving a sub-par but dazzling display to my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, located mostly over Australia, Southern and Central America and breaking into Hawaii, and the lower United States in a few days. This comet, discovered in June 2011 by the Hawaiian telescope called Pan-STARRS. The overall brightness of this comet has increasingly grown, starting at a puny 17 magnitude, growing to 13 in mid-2012, with an expected -4 peak for us Northern Hemisphere watchers in the 2nd week of March. Key dates to keep a look out in the Southern and Western skies low o the horizon, look for something equally as bright as Polaris, aka. The North Star. It will have a visible “tail” so it shouldn’t be too hard to point out.

Now, here’s the kicker. This bad boy is not coming back to pay us a visit for over 100,000 years. If you miss it, you miss it forever. It’s absolutely massive however, giving a “tail” (it’s actually called a coma) stretching 120,000km across at its widest point.

Visible to the naked eye March 10th to the 12th, let’s hope for a clear night sky. Visible to those with telescopes next week low on the horizon, HERE is the key info you’ll need.

Jeff Wilton

Jeff is the founder and owner of Everyday Science Stuff. ESS is a one man operation, with the core belief that all education should be served without crippling debt tuition, without revenue generating ads and without any restrictions of any kind such as paywalls, forced login and account creations, geographical restrictions, and so on.

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