Finally. Clear skies after sunset allowing my first, eagerly anticipated view of Comet PANSTARRS over Duluth. Sigh. Unfortunately, PANSTARRS isn’t really delivering the goods. I took these pictures Saturday night about 45 minutes after sunset, looking due west over the UMD campus, and trust me, even though the comet was visible to the naked eye, the photos are better than what I could see, even with binoculars. Still, if you get a chance (and the weather Gods permit) I recommend checking this underachieving celestial visitor out.
Even though it’s not a spectacular comet by any stretch of the imagination (stay tuned for Comet ISON, coming this Thanksgiving) PANSTARRS won’t be back again for another 100,000 years, and physically contemplating something so ephemeral is kinda cool. Although it’s slowly fading, the comet should be visible for the next week or two.
Here’s a link to the DNT’s Astro Bob and his guide showing how to find it, if you’re so inclined.