Comet PanSTARRS

12 03 2013

Tonight and this week will be a great time to look for Comet PanSTARRS across Central & South Alabama as we will have clear skies as the sunsets. To look for the comet, just look to the western horizon around 30-45 minutes after sunset. You will only be  able to see the comet for about 15 minutes after sunset so have your spot picked out ahead of time.

Sunset time for Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL (Eastern Time)

Panstarrs Sunset CSG

Sunset time for Mobile, AL (Central Time)

Panstarrs Sunset Mobile

Where To Look

PanSTARRS_finder_large_thumb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To look for the comet, just look to the west about 10-20°above the horizon and very close to the crescent moon. It’s not going to be as bright as Hale-Bopp in the late 90s, but you will be able to see it with your naked eye & binoculars. PanSTARRS will look like a bright fuzzy star and will have the same brightness magnitude as a star in the big dipper.

A good way to gauge the distance above the horizon is to use a closed fist at arms length from you as seen below.Panstarrs Hand

The forecast for Tuesday night through Friday night should be good to see Comet PanSTARRS as we will see mostly clear skies at the time around sunset for Mobile, Montgomery, & Columbus/Phenix City

Good luck on viewing the comet and if you get any good pics, we would love to see them!

-StormTEAM 4 / Gamma 9 Weather Chief Meteorologist Patrick Bigbie


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