Washington, Mar h 8: A comet will appear in the west at sunset, from around the 8th to the 13th of Mar h 2013, and will be visible to the naked eye up to the end of the month, scientists have said.
The scientists of the Paris Observatory are calculating the path of Comet Pan-STARRS C/2011 L4, which will traverse Cetus, Pisces, Pegasus and Andromeda.
They have been following it since September 2012, using the large Nancay radio telescope (in the Cher region of France), the Herschel infrared space observatory, at the Pic-du-Midi Observatory (in the Pyrenees), and with the antennas at Bure (in the Alps), at Pico Veleta (Spain), and at Chajnantor (Chile).
At present in the southern hemisphere, this winter’s-end guest will, on Friday the 8th of Mar h 2013, make its appearance 5 degree above the western horizon at sunset. It will then be 18h44, Paris time.
The last glimmer of civil twilight will last till 19h16, and the celestial object will in its turn hide itself below the horizon nine minutes later.
But amateur astronomers will have to wait till Mar h 13th to enjoy the sight.
According to estimates, the comet will be as bright as the neighbouring stars in the square of Pegasus.
According to specialists from the Paris Observatory, an appropriate place from which to see the comet would be: it should be dark, without surrounding illumination and cloudless, far from towns, if possible in the countryside with a clear view to the west.
The diffuse tail of the comet, made of gas and dust, will grow from day to day. To see it well, binoculars or a telescope will be of help. Wandering across the celestial sphere, the vagrant will pass close to Mar , Uranus, the thin crescent Moon and the Andromeda galaxy.
Pan-STARRS was discovered on June 8th 2011 with the 1.8-meter telescope of the Panoramic Survey Telescope And Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) at Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii.
This is a new comet, never seen before, and which will make just one unique visit in our sky before being ejected into the depths of the galaxy. (ANI)