Comet Panstarrs to appear above the western horizon

Comet Panstarrs, which was first discovered in June 2011 from Hawaii, will likely become visible in the skies above western horizon, starting from Friday to Saturday evening.

The comet will be seen just a few degrees above the western horizon at dusk. On Sunday, March 10, the comet will reach its closest point to the sun. It will remain visible in different parts of the world up to March 15.

Director Mark Bailey, of Northern Ireland's Armagh Observatory, said, "After sunset, scan the horizon roughly in the western direction. On the 12 and 13 March, there is a nice association with the thin crescent Moon."

Bailey suggested that the Moon can be used as a guide. The comet will be just down or on the left side of the Moon.

Fred Espenak, scientist emeritus from America's space agency NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, has advised chasing Comet Panstarrs from vehicle rest stops alongside Virginia's Skyline Drive.

This is perhaps the first time that Comet Panstarrs is passing through the inner Solar System and it is not expected to return for another 100,000 years.

Comet Panstarrs was discovered in June 2011 with the help of a telescope from Hawaii, when astronomers had seen a faint object over a billion kilometers away.