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Comet Pan-STARRS of 2013: Photos and Sky Maps for Stargazers

Comet Pan-STARRS Over Ohrid, Macedonia

Stojan Stojanovski

Astrophotographer Stojan Stojanovski sent in this photo of Comet Pan-STARRS taken in Ohrid, Macedonia above Samuel Fortress. Image submitted March 19, 2013.

Comet Pan-STARRS and Moon Over Marshall Space Flight Center, Ala.

NASA/MSFC

Aaron Kingery, a scientist at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. captured the image of Comet Pan-STARRS on the evening of Tuesday, March 12, 2013 using a Canon DSLR camera. The comet was near peak brightness as it traversed the evening sky.

Comet Pan-STARRS Over Jadwin, Missouri, March 20, 2013

Victor C. Rogus

Astrophotographer Victor C. Rogus sent in a photo of Comet Pan-STARRS taken March 20, 2013, in Jadwin, MO. [See his other photo in this gallery.] He writes: "As I look over my collection of images starting with March 11 until now, I see nightly changes in the comet. The direction of the tail comes to mind first, always away from the sun. Changes in color, at times, and also changes in the size of the coma."

Comet Pan-STARRS and Aurora Over Lapland

Chad Blakely/Lights Over Lapland

Astrophotographer Chad Blakely made a video of an auroral display with Comet Pan-STARRS. This still image shows the comet as a small dot just above the vegetation at lower center. Video obtained March 20, 2013, in Abisko, Sweden.

Comet Pan-STARRS and Aurora Over Lapland #2

Chad Blakely/Lights Over Lapland

Astrophotographer Chad Blakely made a video of an auroral display with Comet Pan-STARRS. This still image shows the comet circled at lower center. Video obtained March 20, 2013, in Abisko, Sweden.

Comet Pan-STARRS and Aurora Over Lapland #3

Chad Blakely/Lights Over Lapland

Astrophotographer Chad Blakely made a video of an auroral display with Comet Pan-STARRS. This still image shows the comet magnified. Video obtained March 20, 2013, in Abisko, Sweden.

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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter.