7th March 2013, 06:38 PM
70% Critical Hit Rate
Comet PanSTARRS now visible in the Northern Hemisphere, ISON, & maybe Mars in 2014
Now that PanSTARRS is (finally!) visible to everyone NOT living in Australia, South America or Africa, I can get in some practice comet-watching before the big show around thanksgiving when ISON arrives, which may get bright enough to be seen in the daytime without a telescope!
Originally Posted by Space.com
Here's a few charts to help anyone who wants to spot Comet PanSTARRS:
(These charts are predictive; comets paths are pretty erratic, so they're only meant as a guide.)
Ideal viewing conditions involve a flat, low, western horizon, right after sunset. Forests, mountains and the like will obstruct your view, as PanSTARRS won't ever get more than 20-odd degrees above the horizon (about a hand's-width if you were to line it up), and light pollution (yes, that's a real thing) is also an issue; Appearing in the twilit sky will make it tricky enough to spot, so adding city lights and whatnot will make it even harder. (Also, if you're unlucky like me, you may be on a coast that's infamous for fog appearing right as sunset...)
To top off the comet news: next year, comet Sliding Spring will pass INCREDIBLY close to Mars, and may just smack into it in mid-October. The odds are against this happening, but still... yikes.
In short, it's a really great time to own a telescope. Or be a firebender. Happy comet hunting!
Last edited by Stratago; 7th March 2013 at 06:44 PM.
Smogon: 'Nuff said.