Muskegon Community College's Carr-Fles Planetarium
(DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Comet watchers may get quite an evening show as the Comet Pan-STARRS makes an appearance during the next few days.
The comet is expected to make its closest pass of the sun on Sunday, which could make it brightly visible to the naked eye, according to the website Space.com.
After spending a few months in the skies of Earth's southern hemisphere, the comet will be visible in the northern hemisphere around dusk, low in the western sky, starting tonight through March 13, according to comet experts. Comet-watchers will need clear skies to see the celestial body, experts say.
The comet passed closest to Earth on Tuesday, about 102 million miles from Earth's surface, according to the website.
The comet is named in honor of astronomers in Hawaii who used the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (or PANSTARRS) telescope to spot it in June 2011. The comet came from the Oort cloud, a group of icy formations orbiting the sun just beyond the orbit of Neptune. The Oort cloud also spawned Comet ISON, another, brighter comet that's expected to be visible in late November, according to space.com.
Detroit Free Press