Comet Panstarrs 2013 Peak: When and Where to Watch
Also known as Pan-STARRS, the year's first comet could be a spectacular show -- or a bust.
Comet Pan-STARRS, aka, Comet Panstarrs, a glob of ice and dust from the heavens, will be closest to Earth today, and you may just be able to catch a glimpse in the skies over Arlington.
The quality of the Panstarrs show is in doubt: The comet was discovered only in 2011, and whether it'll generate spectacular fireworks or become a dud remains to be seen -- or not.
Also, unlike most meteor showers, the comet should be most visible not in the darkest hours of the night or morning, but at twilight. In Virginia, we're at a disadvantage because of all the light pollution surrounding us.
There are more tips for viewing on this video of Panstarrs.
Its bright dust tail might even be visible to the naked eye, though some have suggested using binoculars (but only after sunset so not to injure the eyes) to see it.
Comet Panstarrs was discovered in June 2011 and is named Pan-STARRS for the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, the telescope that was used in its discovery.
Another date to spot the comet might be March 10 when the comet will be closest to the sun, according to Space.com. And you'll get another chance March 12 and 13.
And if that's a dud, too, hang in there. Comet Ison, just about always spectacular, arrives in November.