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Comet PanSTARRS (パンスターズ彗星) (C/2011 L4)


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パンスターズ彗星 (PANSTARRS) とは、非周期彗星の1つ。
彗星の命名規則による仮符号はC/2011 L4。

離心率が1を超えており、今のところ2013年3月10日の近日点通過後は回帰しないと考えられている。

視等級が0等級となる大彗星となる予測がある。
また、2013年にはISON彗星も大彗星となる予測がある。

Comet PanSTARRS (パンスターズ彗星) : Picture

Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking
Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking
(C) NASA, ESO
Two impressive comets will both reach their peak brightness during the next two weeks. Taking advantage of a rare imaging opportunity, both of these comets were captured in the sky together last week over the Atacama desert in South America. Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon), visible on the upper left of the above image, is sporting a long tail dominated by glowing green ions. Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS), visible near the horizon on the lower right, is showing a bright tail dominated by dust reflecting sunlight. The tails of both comets point approximately toward the recently set Sun. Comet Lemmon will be just barely visible to the unaided eye before sunset in southern skies for the next week, and then best viewed with binoculars as it fades and moves slowly north. Comet PanSTARRS, however, will remain visible in southern skies for only a few more days, after which it will remain bright enough to be locatable with the unaided eye as it moves into northern skies. To find the giant melting snowball PanSTARRS, sky enthusiasts should look toward the western horizon just after sunset. Deep sky observers are also monitoring the brightening of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), which may become one of the brightest objects in the entire night sky toward the end of 2013.

Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS
Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking
(C) NASA, ESO
Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking
(C) NASA, ESO
地平線近くに見えるパンスターズ彗星。
レモン彗星と共に写っている。

PanSTARRS over Parkes
PanSTARRS over Parkes
(C) NASA
Sweeping quickly through southern skies on March 5, Comet PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) follows the Sun toward the western horizon in this twilight scene. In the foreground is Australia's CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, a 64 meter wide steerable dish that is no stranger to the space age exploration of comets. In March of 1986 the Parkes dish tracked ESA's Giotto spacecraft as it flew by Comet Halley and received the first ever closeup images of Halley's nucleus. At naked-eye visibility, Comet PanSTARRS made its closest approach to planet Earth on March 5. Its closest approach to the Sun will be on March 10. Heading north, PanSTARRS now begins a much anticipated appearance low in the northern hemisphere's western skies after sunset. On March 12, look for the comet hugging the western horizon near a young crescent Moon.

Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS
Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS
(C) NASA
Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS as seen from Mount Dale, Western Australia. The lights on the distant horizon are from the city of Armadale, which is southeast of Perth. Image credit: Astronomy Education Services/Gingin Observatory

Comet PANSTARRS and the Andromeda Galaxy
Comet PANSTARRS and the Andromeda Galaxy
(C) Pavel Smilyk, NASA
Currently, comet PANSTARRS is passing nearly in front of the galaxy Andromeda. Coincidentally, both comet and galaxy appear now to be just about the same angular size. In physical size, even though Comet PANSTARRS is currently the largest object in the Solar System with a tail spanning about 15 times the diameter of the Sun, it is still about 70 billion times smaller than the Andromeda galaxy (M31). The above image was captured on March 30, near Syktyvkar, Russia. As C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) on the lower left recedes from the Sun and dims, it is returning to the northerly direction whence it came. When the comet will return is currently unknown, although humans may have merged with computers by then.
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Comet PanSTARRS (パンスターズ彗星) : Movie

ScienceCasts: A Naked-Eye Comet in March 2013
A comet falling in from the distant reaches of the solar system could become a naked-eye object in early March. This is Comet Pan-STARRS's first visit to the inner solar system, so surprises are possible as its virgin ices are exposed to intense solar heating.
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「ウィキペディア(wikipedia):フリー百科事典」より文章引用。
パンスターズ彗星 (C/2011 L4). (2013, March 9). In Wikipedia.
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