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A comet making its way back to the far reaches of the solar system will give a glimpse of itself to residents of Earth this week.
PanSTARRS makes its closest pass near the sun today. It will brighten from there, becoming visible to people in the northern hemisphere. From March 11-17, it can be seen with the naked eye.
The Lake Afton Public Observatory will hold viewing programs March 12-13 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Onlookers can see the comet's head through the observatory's telescope, or borrow a pair of binoculars.
The observatory will be open the same times on Friday and Saturday, then hold its "Journey to Jupiter" public program.
PanSTARRS is named for the telescope used to spot it. The comet will be visible around 7:30 p.m. this week, and will stay that way for about an hour each night. The comet can be seen about 15 to 20 degrees above the horizon to the west.