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March 9, 2013

Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS

Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS by Luis Argerich

Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS by Luis Argerich

by Mike Meynell

Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS should start to become visible in the Northern Hemisphere over the next few days. It’s closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) is on 10 March 2013 and it may be possible to spot the comet on the evening of 12 March.

It is follows predictions, it should be a naked-eye target and easily visible in binoculars for the next few weeks. The brightness of the comet will diminish towards the end of March.

The comet was first spotted in June 2011 by the Pan-Starrs telescope in Hawaii, which is where the name of the comet comes from.

There have been plenty of news articles about the comet… and the Flamsteed even gets a mention in one of them! See:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/panstarrs-astonomers-warned-to-avoid-danger-to-their-eyes-from-bright-comet-8527695.html (with quotes from Grey Lipley of the Flamsteed).








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