Comet Panstarrs, which has been visible for the past few days just after sunset from different parts of Spain, has been photographed from the El Torcal natural park (just north of Malaga) last night. The picture, taken by Francisco Gálvez directory of the observatory at the park, shows the comet and its trail in the western sky. The comet should be visible again tonight, depending on the weather, and the observatory has organised a free viewing session for tonight for anyone who wishes to attend.

El Torcal is around 1.5 hours from Nerja by car (see map below) – tel 952243324 or 617444772.

The comet Panstarrs, hasn’t been seen by the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere until this year and is known as a non-periodic comet because, unlike popular periodic comets such as Halley’s Comet, its thousand-year orbit is too long to be confirmed by humans.

Pan-STARRS has been visible with powerful telescopes in the Southern Hemisphere since 2011. The never-before-seen entity is technically named C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS), meaning it was discovered by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Hawaii in 2011 and spotted four times that year.

The comet is visible just after sunset just above the horizon to the west. To have a chance of seeing it you need an unobstructed view to the western horizon.

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