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Astronomy Enthusiasts Board Plane To Watch Comet PanSTARRS Flying Through Northern Hemisphere

posted 17 Mar 2013, 13:07 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 17 Mar 2013, 13:08 ]

Astronomy enthusiasts hoping to get a glimpse of comet PanSTARRS flying through the Northern Hemisphere board a commercial, two-hour flight organised by a German travel agency.

COLOGNEGERMANY (MARCH 16, 2013) (REUTERS) - Weather conditions were not ideal on Saturday night (March 16) when a group of German astronomy enthusiasts embarked on a two-hour plane trip to try and spot comet PanSTARRS.

"C/2011 L4," as the comet is called in astronomy circles, was flying through the Northern Hemisphere but clouds repeatedly covered it over the past few days, making it difficult to see from the ground.

"I thought it was really great," said passenger Aaron Sperschneider after he had managed to take several pictures of the comet.

"It's very interesting to see this from above here because up here, the air is much thinner and so you see it much better, a lot clearer," Sperschneider said.

Hilke Steffens, another astronomy enthusiast on board the flight at prices ranging from 399 euros, said "sure, there is no direct contact with nature because we're sitting in a plane but what I really enjoy is that it's totally dark here."

Experts had predicted that PanSTARRS would best be visible from March 16.

The last comet equally well visible was Hale Bopp in 1997.