Guest blog – Dr Mark Gallaway, Technical Officer, Bayfordbury ObservatoryFinally, after weeks of bad weather, astronomers at the University’s Bayfordbury Observatory have managed to image Comet C/2011 L4 (better known as the Pan-STARRS comet) as it makes it way out of the solar system, maybe to return in 106,000 years' time!
|Pan-STARRS comet - David Campbell|
The comet was spotted about two years ago by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) based in Hawaii. This system surveys our skies on a continual basis – its primary mission to detect “Near-Earth Objects” such as asteroids and comets.
The Pan-STARRS comet is still visible with the naked eye in the west just after sunset in the constellation of Andromeda moving into the constellation of Cassiopeia in early May.