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Comet PANSTARRS Just After Sunset

Image Credit & Copyright: Chris Cook

Explanation: Have you seen the comet? As Comet PANSTARRS fades, careful observers — even with unaided eyes — should still be able to find the shedding ice ball on the western horizon just after sunset. Pictured above, Comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4) was pointed out from a hilltop last week on First Encounter Beach in MassachusettsUSA. The comet was discovered by — and is named for — the Pan-STARRS astronomical sky survey that discovered it. As the comet now recedes from both the Earth and the Sun, it will remain visible further into the night, although binoculars or a small telescope will soon to be needed to find it.