Comet PANSTARRS could be best viewed from March 12-18

Mar 11 (TruthDive): Experts have revealed that the comet PANSTARRS can be best viewed from March 12-18 and the comet would appear low in the west after sunset.

NASA said the comet that is moving through the inner solar system makes its closest approach to the sun and will be at its brightest at sunset in the coming nights.

The comet Pan-STARRS is as close as 28 million miles (45 million kilometres  from the surface of the sun when it swings around the sun today. If weather permits, the comet would be bright enough to see without the aid of telescopes or binoculars. But it is also appearing low on the western horizon at sunset.

Comet PANSTARRS is officially known as C/2011 L4. It is a non-periodic comet discovered in June 2011 with the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (or PAN-STARRS) telescope in Hawaii.

To orbit the sun, the comet takes more than 100 million years and appears to come from the Oort cloud, a vast halo of comets and icy objects at the outer edge of the solar system.

NASA scientists said the comet may get lost in the glare of the sun but will again be visible to the naked eye by March 12. As the days continue in the month of March, the comet will begin to fade away slowly, becoming difficult to view by the end of this month.

Comet Pan-STARRS is one of three comets capturing the attention of star-watchers this year. The comet Lemmon C/2012 F6 is currently visible to observers in the Southern Hemisphere. Meanwhile, the Comet ISON is making its way into the inner solar system and could put on a spectacular cosmic display later this year.

Comet ISON will make its closest approach to the sun on Nov. 28 and the comet will be much closer to the sun than comet Pan-STARRS is now. ISON will approach within 800,000 miles (1.2 million km) of the star, making it a delight to sky watchers.

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