C/2011 L4 Pan-STARRS PIC: TERRY LOVEJOY
Stargazers are looking out for a glimpse of new comet which should be visible to the naked eye.
Comet C/2011 L4 Pan-STARRS becomes visible from today (Friday) in the Northern Hemisphere for the first time.
Born millions of years ago in a giant dust cloud which rings the solar system, C/2011 L4 Pan-STARRS will appear in the skies for the first time since its discovery in 2011. It has been travelling for millions of years to the inner solar system from its cradle in the cloud.
Unlike the Russian meteor there is no chance of this comet causing chaos on Earth by shattering glass and injuring more than 1,000 people
Earth's gravity is not going to pull C/2011 14 Pan-STARRS to the ground as it did with the Russian meteor because the comet is much further away from our world and is orbiting the sun.
Astronomers have recommended looking out for a misty patch low down in the western horizon after sunset for the best chance to see the comet. As March progresses, the Comet will appear higher in the sky and be more visible in the night sky.
Dr Mark Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society explained: "Skywatchers will need a clear sky, ideally away from the lights of towns and cities, and have a good [view of the] western horizon. After sunset the comet will be low down in the west and appear as a misty patch not far from the crescent moon.
"Using binoculars will make it easier to find and will certainly help identify the tails which should point up from the horizon.
"As the days pass, the comet will move away from the sun and fade and light from the moon will interfere more.
"After its brief period of visibility, the comet will travel back out towards the depths of space where it will be only be detected by large telescopes."
Spotting it should become easier from 13 March when it will be further from the sun but a clear sky will still be crucial for a sighting.
The comet is named after the Pan-STARRS telescope through which it was first spotted in 2011.
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