A Comet and the Crescent Moon

Comet Pan-STARRS captured by Dr. Travis Rector from Alaska on 12 March 2013
Comet Pan-STARRS seen from Alaska on 12 March 2013 © Travis A. Rector

As comet Pan-STARRS heads back out into the depths of the Solar System, it’s become visible to skywatchers in the northern hemisphere (after several weeks of putting on a show in southern skies.) While poor viewing due to weather confounded some over the past few days, many people did get some great views of this cosmic visitor — such as the image above, captured on the night of March 12 by Dr. Travis A. Rector from the Menaker Observatory in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Comet Pan-STARRS is the very faint dot just below the center of the image,” Dr. Rector wrote on his website. “Its tail is pointed towards the upper-left corner. This picture was taken on its greatest elongation from the Sun. Nonetheless it was very hard to see. And nearly impossible to see by the naked eye.”

See a couple more images of Pan-STARRS below:

A beautiful shot of Pan-STARRS and the crescent Moon by Bill Dickinson in eastern VA:
A beautiful shot of Pan-STARRS and the crescent Moon by Bill Dickinson in eastern VA
Pan-STARRS seen from northwestern Georgia by Stephen Rahn
Pan-STARRS seen from northwestern Georgia by Stephen Rahn

Pan-STARRS should be visible in northern skies near the west after sunset over the course of the next week or so; read more on how to best view it here.

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2 Comments

  1. Anne Bonney says:

    I’m still trying to get a glimpse of the comet in overcast and now snowy Cleveland.

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