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YES PANSTARRS is Still Visible In Silicon Valley!
Use Binoculars Use a smart phone astroapp if you got one.
MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Packer at

How to view L4 PANSTARRS

PanSTARRS is high enough to see in Silicon Valley. Folks have seen it around the South Bay at Shoreline and at the March 15th SJAA Beginner Class. Kids got a 30 minute view at Houge Park before it set. Use Binoculars! It is now a superb small telescope object at places like Fremont Peak.

Where in Sky
 Click to EnlargePanstarrs-March-16vUT-chart

Seek out a good Western horizon and start looking with binoculars in the evening ~ hour after sunset. The comet is still just visible without using binoculars but is hard to find without them. And binoculars will let you see detail like the tail.


IMAGE OF COMET LEFT OF MOON FROM SKYLINE BLVD MARCH 12th Comet_L4_Pan-STARRS-CAbove image was taken by Michael Packer on March 12, 2013 Nikon D3s, 230mm, f6.0, ISO1000, 3/4s exposure.

Comet L4 PANSTARRS click image to enlarge

“The above image was taken by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo on Feb 15th through a telescope, I’m sure you will agree this is a wonderful capture and full of potential for nice show on the weeks ahead. The green colour around the coma (comet’s head) is the gas/ion envelope around the comet’s nucleus and the white/gold colour is the dust tail reflecting light from the sun. L4 Panstarrs sports a very high abundance of dust which indicates a fairly large and very active nucleus which should continue to brighten every day as solar heating and pressure increases.”

Comet PanSTARRS is named after the person or group that discovered it. In this case, the University of Hawaii’s Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System Pan-STARRS which is an innovative wide-field imaging facility developed for astronomy. It’s full name C/2011 L4 PanSTARRS is a non-periodic comet discovered in June 2011 that is expected to be visible to the naked eye when it is near perihelion in March 2013.


Most beaches along PCH close at sunset. Do you know of any places that are open late?



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