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Rare comet to light up evening sky this month

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 09:04

Washington: A comet with a glowing tail will make a once-in-a-lifetime appearance in the evening sky this month, experts have revealed.

Comet 2011 L4 Panstarrs, which has taken millions of years to travel out from the Oort cloud - a huge colony of icy objects at the edge of the Solar System, will be visible low in the west throughout the month, they said.

Sky watchers could get a better view on March 12 and 13 when it brushes past the crescent moon, but it might be difficult to see the object without binoculars or a telescope.

"It`s going to be in the twilight sky and not as bright as we had originally hoped, but comets are terribly unpredictable," the Telegraph quoted Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy as saying.

The comet will fade towards the end of the month, but will rise higher in the sky, possibly making it easier to see.

By March 30 its northward path will take it close to the Andromeda galaxy . Which could provide a good picture for sky watchers, said Scagell.

Panstarrs is not expected to revisit our skies for 110,000 years.

Another comet is expected to make a more dramatic appearance in November.

Comet Ison will fly closer to the Sun, causing it to light up.

Experts said it could be bright enough to see in daylight, but from the UK it will only be visible low in the sky.


First Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 09:04
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