by Staff Writers
Hana, Hawaii (UPI) Jun 28, 2011
U.S. scientists say a newly discovered comet could provide an astronomical spectacle when it swings through the solar system in 2013.
The comet was detected by the asteroid-hunting Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii, which spotted the distant cosmic snowball in the overnight hours of June 5-6, SPACE.com reported.
Some astronomers have suggested it could become the celestial sight of the decade.
The comet's closest approach to the sun, called its perihelion, will occur April 17, 2013, when it will be just 33.8 million miles from the sun and just 118 millions miles from Earth.
Scientists say orbital data suggests the object is a "new" comet in a parabolic orbit that has possibly never passed near the sun before.
However, astronomers caution that the orbital data is preliminary and cannot guarantee that comet C/2011 L4 will live up to expectations as a celestial light show.
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology
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