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..
Listen 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.