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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A newly brightened comet visible after sunset

Astronomers today said that a comet passing near the Earth has suddenly brightened, and may be visible to the unaided eye after sundown. Photos of the comet taken two days ago show two distinct tails. Tonight, Comet PanSTARRS will be located just above the horizon in the fading twilight. It will be located below the planets Jupiter and Venus. The comet orbited around the sun on July 6, and the apparent warming caused it to shed dust and gas, causing it to brighten and show classicl tails pointing away from the sun, but at different angles. On the Universe Today web site, amateur astronomer Bob King said that the comet was previously hard to spot, appearing before dawn in June, but has now risen above the horizon at sunset to be seen in twilight. However, northern hemisphere viewers may have difficulty spotting the comet before its sets during the last stages of twilight. The web site also described the comet as having three tails. One of the tails is from dust while another tail from ions is forked, giving the comet the appearance of having three tails, astronomers said. The comet will make its closest pass to Earth tonight. The comet is named C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS for its discovery last August by the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System.
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