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Comet posing beside crescent moon in cool photo op

  • The PAN-STARRS comet is visible Wednesday evening March 13, 2013, from the Flint Hills of south western Lyon County Kansas. Although billions of year old, Pan-STARRS is making its first-ever cruise through the inner solar system. (AP Photo/ The Emporia Gazette, Matthew Fowler)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Now's your chance to see the comet that passed within 100 million miles of Earth last week.

Twilight on Tuesday will provide the best photo op for the comet called Pan-STARRS. It will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere just above the western horizon — right next to a crescent moon.

California astronomer Tony Phillips said the glare of the setting sun may make it difficult to see the comet with the naked eye. But he encourages casual sky gazers to give it a shot. The moon will provide an easy point of reference.

"All by itself, the slender moon will be super-beautiful. If you can see a comet right beside it ... what a bonus!" he wrote in an email from his home and observatory in the Sierra Nevada.

Remember your binoculars, but be certain not to point them at the setting sun, he warned.


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