Monday, March 11, 2013

FREE Viewing Party of Comet Pan-STARRS

Last year, a small town in southern Utah, Kanarraville, was named the viewing “hot spot” for the annular eclipse. This week we have another cosmic event to watch for.

The comet Pan-STARRS will come within 100 million miles of Earth, and within 30 million miles of the sun, this week. The best days for viewing it will be on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12th and 13th.

Because it may be hard for the average person to spot, the Salt Lake Astronomical Society will be holding a FREE viewing party at their Stansbury Observatory on Wednesday evening, March 13th, from 6pm to 9pm. Other objects you will be able to see that night include the Comet Pan-STARRS, Comet ISON, a crescent moon, and Jupiter.

The Stansbury Observatory is located in Stansbury Park in Tooele County at 252 Hwy 138,
Stansbury Park, UT. If you know where the Benson Grist Mill is, keep going on that road and it will be on your left hand side. You can also refer to google maps.

For those wishing to view it on their own, make sure you are at a place with a low western horizon, like the East bench in Salt Lake, or the Tooele valley. DO NOT look directly at the sun! You should be able to see the comet just below the moon and just above the horizon.

The Salt Lake Tribune wrote a detailed article about the comet and why we will be able to see it this week. You can read it online HERE.