Thursday, 16 August 2012

Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) in Southern Sky

Source: Copyright © 2012 by Leonid Elenin (Russia)
Images of PANSTARRS acquired by Leonid Elenin on 2012 July 14 (left) and August 9 (right).

Skytools 3 Information
On this night (18 August 2012) C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) is best visible between 18:53 and 21:40, with the optimum view at 19:15. Look for it in Libra, high in the sky in complete darkness. It is detectable visually in the Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dob. Use the Ultima 42mm for optimum visual detection. It is magnitude 10 with a diameter of 4.8'.

In the following 30 days this object is detectable visually from August 19-26, and again from September 2 on, with the best view coming on September 17. During this period it will brighten slowly and move lower in the sky.

C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) will reach perihelion in early March 2013. It also is predicted to reach maximum brightness of magnitude -3 in early March. The best visibility from Bloemfontein, Boyden, ZA near maximum brightness is predicted to be in early March when it will be approximately magnitude -3. At that time it will be in Pisces, very low in the western sky during evening twilight and will be obvious in the Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dob. Note that the magnitude and visibility of a comet can be very unpredictable.

Visible in Libra - 18 August 2012

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