Comet PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4), sweeping quickly through southern skies toward the western horizon in this twilight scene. The foreground is Australia’s CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, a 64 meter wide steerable dish. Image © John Sarkissian (CSIRO Parkes Observatory)
At naked-eye visibility, Comet PanSTARRS made its closest approach to planet Earth on March 5. Its closest approach to the Sun will be on March 10. Heading north, PanSTARRS now begins a much anticipated appearance low in the northern hemisphere’s western skies after sunset. On March 12, look for the comet hugging the western horizon near a young crescent Moon.