• A quiet moment in Oak Bluffs.
  • Timothy Johnson

Comet Pan-STARRS

A faint comet will appear low in the western sky tonight after sunset but it will be tough to see. Forecasters predict that Comet Pan-STARRS will be harder to find than originally anticipated.

Comet Pan-STARRS was discovered almost two years ago by an automated camera, thus its odd name. From the moment it was classified as a comet, many hoped it would put on a nice show. This past week did not make for good viewing however clearer skies are coming.

Comet Pan-STARRS looks like a fuzzy star in the western sky, according to those who have seen it. The comet will be due west tonight. For the nights ahead, the comet will shift more and more northerly, but still be close to the horizon. By the end of this month, the comet will appear slightly higher in the northwest sky.

Unlike many comets that come and go, this one has a different story. Comet Pan-STARRS is not a periodic comet. After it is gone, it will be gone for good. It is a space wanderer. This comet is a piece of stellar material that was accidentally pulled by the powerful gravity of the sun and is now getting a gravitational catapult back out to outer space to continue on its timeless journey.

M.A.L.

Sunrise and Sunset
DaySunriseSunset
Fri., March 156:545:47
Sat., March 166:526:48
Sun., March 176:506:50
Mon., March 186:496:51
Tues., March 196:476:52
Wed., March 206:456:53
Thurs., March 216:436:54
Fri., March 226:426:55

Temperatures and Precipitations
DayMax (Fº)Min (Fº)Inches
March 837331.18
March 941340.27
March 1041350.00
March 1144320.00
March 12504047
March 1352410.83
March 145229*T

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 45º F.

 

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