Cast your eye westward this evening, and you may see a comet streaking across the heavens. Pan-STARRS, as it's known, will be visible at dusk today and tomorrow.
Adam Block, with the Mt. Lemmon Sky Center, says people wanting to glimpse the comet should note where the sun sets on the horizon tonight.
“The comet will be above where the sun sets and just to the left of the moon on Tuesday,” says Block.
The orientation will change slightly on Wednesday before the comet begins to disappear from view. The next chance to see it will be 110,000 years from now, as it's thought to orbit the sun only once every 100 million years.
“This is going to be the best nights because the moon will get too bright and the comet will begin to dim,” Block says.
The comet was discovered in 2011 by astronomers using the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS in Hawaii.
Another comet will be visible in the night sky later this year. ISON will come to within 800,000 miles of the sun in late November.
Photo: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona
Mt. Lemmon Sky Center's Adam Block took this picture of the comet Pan-STARRS over Tucson just after sunset Sunday, March 10