Comet PanSTARRS, as seen in a photograph taken a few days ago in Argentina showing a nicely developed dust tail. A good comet will have the dust tail extend at least 45 degrees or so, according to Texas A&M Astronomy Program Director Nicholas Suntzeff.
COLLEGE STATION --Heads up from Texas A&M University astronomers regarding Comet PanSTARRS, which will be visible to the naked eye as it zips through the skies over Bryan-College Station and the northern hemisphere starting this week.
Look west after sunset in early and mid-March for Comet PanSTARRS. Binoculars may be needed to pick it out of the sunset glow. Look too early and the sky will be too bright; too late and the comet will be too low. On the altitude scale at left, 10 degrees is about the width of your fist held at arm's length.
Suntzeff notes this diagram is drawn for a viewer near 40 degrees north latitude. The comet will be higher in the Brazos Valley sky -- roughly 30 degrees. He says it will be very easy to locate on March 12 relative to the Moon.
Click here for more great shots of PanSTARRS from around the world. (Sky & Telescope)