Chasing comets, how to see them in the sky - Tucson News Now

Chasing comets, how to see them in the sky

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Source: EarthSky.org Source: EarthSky.org
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Coming up next week Comet Pan-STARRS is visible in the western sky around sunset. While there is a lot of buzz around that comet, other comets are often also visible in the night sky. 

Check out the website http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/.

This website updates when and where to look for comets.  

Below is the exert for how to view Comet Pan-STARRS during the month of March. Look at the 'Visibility March 16' column. At 40° latitude the column says the comet will be visible in the western sky around sunset at 19:10, which is military time for 7:10 PM. Sunset in Arizona is around 6:30 PM this time of year. 

40° latitude runs north of Arizona through Nevada and Utah. Look to that row for the best viewing instructions for Arizona the rest of the month. 

Plus click on http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/ for more comets visible in the night sky.

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C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS): An evening comet that is just visible to the naked eye, but more easily in binoculars
This comet begins the month in Sculptor at magnitude 2.5. Look for a 4.5' coma. The best views are from the southern hemisphere early in the month. By the time it is visible from the northern hemisphere it will be a binocular object very low in the evening twilight. It should fade to 5th-magnitude, moving north into Andromeda by month's end.  FINDER CHART

Latitude Visibility March 2 Visibility March 9 Visibility March 16 Visibility March 23 Visibility March 30 Nights Visible
55o N Not visible Not visible Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:30 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:50 Low in the northern sky during evening twilight at ~20:30 10-
40o N Not visible Not visible Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:10 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:20 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:40 7-
Equator Not visible Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:50 Not visible Not visible Not visible 1-16, 18-18
30S Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:30 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:00 Not visible Not visible Not visible 1-13

 

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