Naked eye comet

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“Certainly not a ‘great comet’ by any means,” astronomer Alan Hale, the co-discoverer of 1997’s Comet Hale-Bopp, wrote in a posting to the Comets-ML online forum. “The visibility should hopefully improve over the next few nights as it climbs higher out of the twilight, but I don’t foresee anything spectacular.” So our latest celestial visitor, comet panstarrs, might not be bright as we would have hoped, but maybe here in southwestern desert we will get a good view.

That’s what makes Tuesday’s viewing opportunity so key: On March 12, PanSTARRS should be sitting just to the left of the crescent moon, as indicated in this sky chart from SpaceWeather.com. The moon will thus serve as a guidepost for you to turn your binoculars to the right spot just after sunset. There will be about a 10- to 20-minute window to catch the comet each night starting about March 12 and going through the end of the month. It will get dimmer night after night, so Tuesday is the prime date and experienced amateurs at high elevations with no cloud may get a good view. So go round to your astronomer friend just after sunset and see if you can find it.

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13 comments on “Naked eye comet

  1. I remember getting to see Hale-Bopp when I was young. I wish I could have seen the one on Tuesday. I wonder if the comet will be too dim to see after five days?

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  2. That was such a great site to see…I also went on NPR’s website to see a NASA video from outerspace!
    Lynn Guest

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  3. It would be really cool to see a comet because I have never seen one. I didn’t get to look on Tuesday night for the comet, but I’m sure anyone who got the chance to see it, must have been a good experience.

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  4. It would be really excited and interesting to see a comet because I have never seen one. However, I think it could be hard to identify it because I have never experience how actually a comet looks. I hope there is no cloud so we can get a good view of the comet. I would be looking if I can see the comet after sunset.

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  5. I have never seen a comet and I think it would be interesting to see one. I also think that its its great that if people are not able to catch the comet tonight they are still going to have a chance to catch it any day this month.

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  6. I will try to watch this comet as well. I never had the opp0rtunity to see one because I didnt know about when they would be visible.
    Nathan Mulkey to answer your question not all comets are the same size. To give you an idea they can be as big as a the Island of Manhattan in NYC and small as a car, to give you a sence.

    Aurelio Miralda

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  7. I’ve never seen a comet before so this even will definitely be exciting and interesting! I just hope that I’ll be able to find it in the sky on my own!

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