Comet PanSTARRS And Waxing Crescent Moon
Pictured at left is the Comet PanSTARRS (left-hand side) and the waxing crescent moon (lower right-hand side) set over the Arlington, Virginia, skyline near the National Science Foundation headquarters. The comet, which was discovered in 2011, made its closest approach to the sun--about 45 million kilometers (28 million miles)--in February 2013 and was visible to the naked eye. The comet's name is the acronym for the telescope that discovered it--the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System, located atop Haleakala volcano in Hawaii. Astronomers use the massive 1.8 meter telescope to scan the heavens for Earth-approaching objects--both asteroids and comets--that might pose a danger to our planet. This photo was taken on March 12, 2013.
Image credit: Andrew W. Clegg, National Science Foundation