Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




IRON AND ICE
Comet Pan-Starrs Will Be Visible In Northern Hemisphere In March
by Staff Writers
Honolulu HI (SPX) Feb 21, 2013


Photo by Terry Lovejoy/Australia.

Comet Pan-STARRS C/2011 L4, discovered by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala in June 2011, is expected to become visible to the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere in March. The comet is currently visible in the Southern Hemisphere.

From about March 7, it will appear above the horizon. To see it, you will need an unobstructed, cloudless view of the western horizon. It is best to pick a dark spot, away from streetlights.

Look in the direction of the Sunset just after the Sun has gone down. The comet will be just above the horizon.

The twilight sky will make the comet much harder to see than if it were high up in a dark sky, and moonlight will interfere with viewing the comet after March 13.

To see the comet's tails, you may need a pair of binoculars.

Although the brightness of comets is notoriously difficult to predict ahead of time, scientists expect this comet will have a brightness similar to that of the stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper or Orion's belt (magnitude 2 to 3).

March 13 may be the best time to take an interesting picture of the comet because on that evening, it will appear just below the thin crescent Moon.

By the end of March, the comet will no longer be visible in the evening sky, but if you get up early, you may be able to see it in the eastern sky just before sunrise. However, by then the comet will be farther from both the Sun and Earth, and will therefore be fainter.

Comets are balls of ice and dust. As they approach the Sun, they heat up, and the ice begins to sublime -- to change from ice into a gas. When that happens, they develop a coma, a large envelope of gas and dust that surrounds the solid nucleus, and two tails, a dust tail and an ion tail that consists of gas molecules ionized by sunlight. Each of these tails may be over a million miles long. It is because of the coma and tails that they become visible to the naked eye, sometimes spectacularly so.

Some comets, including Comet Pan-STARRS, follow an orbit that begins in the very outer reaches of the solar system. As they pass by the planets, they receive a gravitational "kick" that propels them out of the solar system. Their sole visits to the inner solar system are therefore our only chance to see them.

Others, like Halley's comet, have elliptical orbits, and return to the inner solar system again and again, although their orbits are sometimes so large that it takes hundreds or thousands of years for them to return.

.


Related Links
IFA
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





IRON AND ICE
A Possible Naked-eye Comet in March
Huntsville AL (SPX) Feb 08, 2013
Feb. 6, 2013: Far beyond the orbits of Neptune and Pluto, where the sun is a pinprick of light not much brighter than other stars, a vast swarm of icy bodies circles the solar system. Astronomers call it the "Oort Cloud," and it is the source of some of history's finest comets. One of them could be heading our way now. Comet Pan-STARRS was discovered by the Panoramic Survey Telescope ... read more


IRON AND ICE
Building a lunar base with 3D printing

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Russia to Launch Lunar Mission in 2015

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

IRON AND ICE
NASA Rover Confirms First Drilled Mars Rock Sample

India plans mission to Mars in 2013

Rover finds gray rock beneath Red Planet's surface

Bleach could hamper Mars life search

IRON AND ICE
NASA plant study headed to space station

NASA Spinoff 2012 Features New Space Tech Bettering Your Life Today

Orion Lands Safely on Two of Three Parachutes in Test

Supersonic skydiver even faster than thought

IRON AND ICE
Welcome Aboard Shenzhou 10

Reshuffle for Tiangong

China to launch 20 spacecrafts in 2013

Mr Xi in Space

IRON AND ICE
NASA briefly loses contact with space station

Temporary Comm Loss Interrupts Crew's Day

Low-Gravity Flights Will Aid ISS Fluids and Combustion Experiments

Progress docks with ISS

IRON AND ICE
NASA Seeks University Participants for Summer Rocket Workshop

Another Sea Launch Failure

ILS Concludes Yamal 402 Proton Launch Investigation

Ariane 5 delivers record payload off back-to-back launches this week

IRON AND ICE
Searching for a Pale Blue SPHERE in the Universe

Earth-like planets are right next door

Direct Infrared Image Of An Arm In Disk Demonstrates Transition To Planet Formation

Kepler Data Suggest Earth-size Planets May Be Next Door

IRON AND ICE
Engineers show feasibility of superfast materials

Sony bills PS4 console as gaming's future

Lessons from nature could lead to the creation of new materials

'Explorers' to don Google Internet glasses




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement