C/2011 L4

C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS)C/2011 L4 Pan-StarrsComet PANSTARRS
C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) is a non-periodic comet discovered in June 2011 that became visible to the naked eye when it was near perihelion in March 2013.wikipedia
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Pan-STARRS

PanSTARRSPan-STARRS 1Pan-STARRS 2
It was discovered using the Pan-STARRS telescope located near the summit of Haleakalā, on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

Comet ISON

C/2012 S1 (ISON)C/2012 S1
* C/2012 S1 (ISON) – a highly anticipated comet that disintegrated near perihelion in November 2013.
It had since exhibited a "slowdown event", however, similar to behavior exhibited by other Oort cloud comets, among them C/2011 L4.

List of near-parabolic comets

non-periodic cometList of non-periodic cometslong-period
C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) is a non-periodic comet discovered in June 2011 that became visible to the naked eye when it was near perihelion in March 2013.

Comet

cometslong-period cometJupiter-family comet
C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) is a non-periodic comet discovered in June 2011 that became visible to the naked eye when it was near perihelion in March 2013.

Naked eye

naked-eyeunaided eyenaked human eye
C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) is a non-periodic comet discovered in June 2011 that became visible to the naked eye when it was near perihelion in March 2013.

Haleakalā

HaleakalaEast MauiHaleakala Crater
It was discovered using the Pan-STARRS telescope located near the summit of Haleakalā, on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

Maui

Maui, HawaiiIsland of MauiMaui, HI
It was discovered using the Pan-STARRS telescope located near the summit of Haleakalā, on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

Oort cloud

Oort cloud objectÖpik-Oort CloudÖpik–Oort cloud
Comet C/2011 L4 probably took millions of years to come from the Oort cloud.

Orbital period

periodsynodic periodsynodic
After leaving the planetary region of the Solar System, the post-perihelion orbital period (epoch 2050) is estimated to be roughly years.

Epoch (astronomy)

J2000J2000.0epoch
After leaving the planetary region of the Solar System, the post-perihelion orbital period (epoch 2050) is estimated to be roughly years.

Julian year (astronomy)

yrayears
After leaving the planetary region of the Solar System, the post-perihelion orbital period (epoch 2050) is estimated to be roughly years.

Comet nucleus

nucleuscomet nucleicometary nucleus
Dust and gas production suggests the comet nucleus is roughly 1 km in diameter.

Astronomical unit

AUastronomical unitsAUs
Comet C/2011 L4 was still 7.9 AU from the Sun with an apparent magnitude of 19 when it was discovered in June 2011.

Apparent magnitude

apparent visual magnitudemagnitudevisual magnitude
Comet C/2011 L4 was still 7.9 AU from the Sun with an apparent magnitude of 19 when it was discovered in June 2011. Original estimates predicted that C/2011 L4 would brighten to roughly apparent magnitude 0 (roughly the brightness of Alpha Centauri A or Vega).

Coma (cometary)

comacomaecometary activity
In October 2012, the coma (expanding tenuous dust atmosphere) was estimated to be about 120000 km in diameter.

Apsis

perigeeperihelionapogee
C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) is a non-periodic comet discovered in June 2011 that became visible to the naked eye when it was near perihelion in March 2013.

Alpha Centauri

Alpha Centauri BAlpha Centauri Aα Centauri
Original estimates predicted that C/2011 L4 would brighten to roughly apparent magnitude 0 (roughly the brightness of Alpha Centauri A or Vega).

Vega

Alpha Lyrae2828Botercadent
Original estimates predicted that C/2011 L4 would brighten to roughly apparent magnitude 0 (roughly the brightness of Alpha Centauri A or Vega).

Venus

Morning Starevening starplanet Venus
An estimate in October 2012 predicted that it might brighten to magnitude −4 (roughly equivalent to Venus).

Secular variation

secularSecular phenomenasecular change
However, a study using the secular light curve indicates that C/2011 L4 had a "slowdown event" when it was 3.6 AU from the Sun at a magnitude 5.6.

Light curve

lightcurvelight-curvelight curves
However, a study using the secular light curve indicates that C/2011 L4 had a "slowdown event" when it was 3.6 AU from the Sun at a magnitude 5.6.

Halley's Comet

Comet Halley1P/HalleyHalley
Comet Halley would be magnitude −1.0 at the same perihelion distance.

Horizon

visual horizonacceleration horizoncurvature of the Earth
However, its low altitude over the horizon made these estimates difficult and subject to significant uncertainties, both because of the lack of suitable reference stars in the area and the need for differential atmospheric extinction corrections.

Binoculars

binocularfield glassesfield glass
As of mid-March 2013, due the brightness of twilight and low elevation in the sky, C/2011 L4 was best seen in binoculars about 40 minutes after sunset.

Gamma Pegasi

γ PegAlgenibγ
On 17–18 March, C/2011 L4 was near the 2.8-magnitude star Algenib (Gamma Pegasi).