And there is another reason to look for comet Pan-STARRS later this week. On Tuesday (March 12), the moon rises into the cosmic display.
"The comet will be joined in the western sky after dark by the slender crescent moon on March 12, 13, and 14," the editors of StarDate Magazine, a stargazing publication of the McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas. "Good naked-eye views of the comet should continue for several nights, with the comet remaining visible through binoculars into April."
Comet Pan-STARRS is one of three comets capturing the attention of stargazers this year. The Comet Lemmon C/2012 F6 is currently visible to observers in the Southern Hemisphere and at times was in the night sky at the same time, allowing stargazers to capture rare photos of two comets in the sky together.
Meanwhile, the Comet ISON is making its way into the inner solar system and could put on a spectacular cosmic display later this year. Officially designated C/2012 S1 (ISON), Comet ISON was discovered in September 2012 by Russian amateur astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok using a remotely operated International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) telescope.