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Mar 12, 2013 5:34 PM by Rob Perillo

Viewing Comet Pan-Starrs in Acadiana

Acadiana will be treated to a rare astronomical event over the next several evenings as Comet Pan-Starrs (named after the telescope that discovered it) has become visible in our western skies.

The best time for seeing the comet is right around 7:30 pm through about 8:00 pm in the western sky and don't be late as it is only visible for a very short period of time.

Viewers should be able to see the comet without binoculars or telescopes but having them handy will certainly help.

Comet Pan-Starrs is roughly 100 million miles from Earth and has passed its nearest point the sun. Comets are made of ice and some rock and/or dust, like a dirty snowball.

The solar energy (or flux) from the sun melts and vaporizes the ice-ball with the icy tail pointing away from the sun that can extend millions of miles.

The comet should appear higher in our western skies each evening through this weekend as long as skies stay fair...which they should through Saturday evening.

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