Comet C/2014 Q1 (PANSTARRS) passed perihelion – its closest point to the sun – on July 6, 2015. It never got bright enough to be viewed easily with the unaided eye, and most observers – even those in the Southern Hemisphere, where the comet is higher in the sky – have said couldn’t spot it with the eye alone. It’s against a background of bright twilight and sets soon behind the sun. But – since it has been near the bright planets Venus and Jupiter in the sky, and sometimes the moon as well – many have captured wonderful photos of this comet, as you can see from the examples on this page. Thanks to all who have submitted to EarthSky, or posted at our page on Facebook or G+.
Want to try to spot it? See the charts at the bottom of this page.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Prior to that, she had worked for the University of Texas McDonald Observatory since 1976, and created and produced their Star Date radio series. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. In 2020, she won the Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society, the largest organization of professional astronomers in North America. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.
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