Skip to main content

Stargazers capture images of comet

By Elizabeth Landau and Polina Marinova, CNN
March 16, 2013 -- Updated 1417 GMT (2217 HKT)
Comet Pan-STARRS was visible to many stargazers on March 12. In Galveston, Texas, web designer Vadim Troshkin shot this photo for Galveston.com and said he was glad to see the comet during "such a beautiful sunset." Comet Pan-STARRS was visible to many stargazers on March 12. In Galveston, Texas, web designer Vadim Troshkin shot this photo for Galveston.com and said he was glad to see the comet during "such a beautiful sunset."
HIDE CAPTION
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
Pan-STARR-y night
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Comet Pan-STARRS gets its name from the telescope credited with discovering it
  • CNN iReporters and other astronomy enthusiasts captured great photos this week.
  • If you missed it, there may be another comet viewing opportunity later this year

Editor's note: Follow @CNNLightYears on Twitter for space news updates.

(CNN) -- Stargazers in North America were delighted this week to see a highly anticipated comet make an appearance in the March sky.

The comet is called Pan-STARRS, and it gets its funky name from the telescope credited with discovering it in June 2001: the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System in Hawaii.

Brian Karczewski, 24, got a great shot of the comet from a California church parking lot and submitted an iReport about it.

"I love astronomy and find astrophotography a good challenge," he said. "I was very excited to capture the comet next to the moon. Never photographed a comet before!"

Adam Block, program coordinator at the Mount Lemmon Sky Center at the University of Arizona, snapped his first Pan-STARRS picture March 10. He used a DSLR camera and a 300mm fixed lens.

"I took that image from my house in Tucson, and I was hoping to show that anyone, even from the city, can potentially see the comet!" he said in an e-mail.

Quasar -- galactic beauty, deadly beast -- discovered 50 years ago

Block also took some sharp images Tuesday against the background of a colorful twilight.

"A bright comet in the sky is great for me since the universe is giving me a new and captivating way to inspire people as part of the experiences I offer at the observatory," he said.

Send us your questions about time-lapse videos

If you missed Pan-STARRS, there may be another comet-viewing opportunity later this year.

Comet ISON was discovered by Russian astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok in September 2012. It's named after their night-sky survey program, the International Scientific Optical Network.

On November 28, ISON is expected to dive into the sun's atmosphere. If it survives, it might glow as brightly as the moon and be briefly visible in daylight. Its tail might stretch far across the night sky.

More space and science news from CNN Light Years.

CNN's Amanda Barnett contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Space
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 1503 GMT (2303 HKT)
Planetary nebula Abell 33 has taken on romantic proportions.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
You can't see it happening on Earth, but space itself is stretching. Ever since the Big Bang happened 13.8 billion years ago, the universe has been getting bigger.
March 26, 2014 -- Updated 2059 GMT (0459 HKT)
Scientists have added another celestial body to the short list of objects in our solar system that have rings around them.
March 27, 2014 -- Updated 1759 GMT (0159 HKT)
Astronomers have discovered a dwarf planet that's even farther away than Pluto.
February 28, 2014 -- Updated 1259 GMT (2059 HKT)
Our galactic neighborhood just got a lot bigger. NASA announced the discovery of 715 new planets.
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1437 GMT (2237 HKT)
Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how our world as we know it came to be.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
From a sheep ranch in Western Australia comes the oldest slice of Earth we know.
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 1902 GMT (0302 HKT)
Cassiopeia A was a star more than eight times the mass of our sun before it exploded in the cataclysmic, fiery death astronomers call a supernova.
February 10, 2014 -- Updated 2207 GMT (0607 HKT)
Researchers have found clues that water could be flowing in the present, at least during warm seasons.
February 15, 2014 -- Updated 1602 GMT (0002 HKT)
The "jelly doughnut" rock that seemed to appear out of nowhere on Mars last month did not fall out of an extraterrestrial pastry box.
February 7, 2014 -- Updated 0356 GMT (1156 HKT)
It's a dot in the sky.
February 13, 2014 -- Updated 0744 GMT (1544 HKT)
Reports of Jade Rabbit's demise may have been premature.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
It's rare for astronomers to spot a planet in a star cluster. That's partly why a cluster called Messier 67 is so special: We now know that it has three planets orbiting stars.
December 19, 2013 -- Updated 1203 GMT (2003 HKT)
What do you need to map a billion stars? A billion-pixel camera certainly helps.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1950 GMT (0350 HKT)
NASA's rover Curiosity has now given scientists the strongest evidence to date that the environment on the Red Planet could have supported life billions of years ago.
December 7, 2013 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided your multicolored space distraction of the day: images of a swirling, six-sided weather feature on the surface of Saturn.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 2023 GMT (0423 HKT)
Imagine the delight at unwrapping your Christmas present in 2043 and discovering you've been gifted a trip around the Moon.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 2206 GMT (0606 HKT)
A Dutch company says it is moving along with its plan to send four lucky Earthlings to colonize the Red Planet. The catch: They won't ever come back.
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1711 GMT (0111 HKT)
You may have heard it before: billions of years ago Mars probably looked more like Earth does now, with clouds and oceans and a much thicker atmosphere.
November 13, 2013 -- Updated 1552 GMT (2352 HKT)
NASA has given the people of Earth a rare treat: A color mosaic that captures not only Saturn, but also the tiny dots of Earth and other planets in the background.
November 5, 2013 -- Updated 1739 GMT (0139 HKT)
Ever have one of those days where you just wanna be alone, maybe have the planet to yourself?
ADVERTISEMENT