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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Tonight: Comet PANSTARRS Comes Into View

Tonight: Comet PANSTARRS Comes Into View

Starting tonight, comet PANSTARRS, which was first discovered in images taken by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in 2001, should finally begin to become visible in the Northern Hemisphere, weather permitting. The comet will appear very low near the west-southwest horizon about a half hour after sunset.

By this coming Tuesday, March 12, the comet will sit almost directly above the western horizon, less than 5 degrees to the left of a very narrow crescent moon. The comet will slowly move higher in the sky, shifting slowly toward the west-northwest part of the sky during the middle and later part of this month, and become gradually dimmer as it pulls away from both the Sun and the Earth.

The tail of the comet, if visible, should appear to be pointed upward and tipped slightly toward the left through mid-March, before tipping more toward the right or the remainder of the month.

Here’s a more detailed story about the comet from the 2013 Farmers’ Almanac.

If you manage to snap a good picture of comet PANSTARRS, be sure to share it with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.