(SUN-SENTINEL) — It’s not often South Floridians get to see a snowball, much less one tearing through the twilit sky at a dizzying 30,000-plus mph.
But this week a celestial wanderer, Comet Pan-STARRS, a clump of icy dirt from the edges of the solar system, can be seen by naked eye as it streaks across the heavens.
“It’s moving through our neighborhood,” said Fort Lauderdale astronomer Arnold Pearlstein. “This is the best week to look by far. It’s going to be at its brightest.”
The comet, named for Hawaii’s Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System that discovered it in June 2011, will be visible along the western horizon for about 75 minutes after sunset. Best nights to observe: Tuesday and Wednesday, when a slender moon will help stargazers track it.