Back in 2011, astronomers in Hawaii discovered the comet Pan-STARRS. Astronomy enthusiasts in the Southern Hemisphere have already been following and taking pictures of this comment and while NASA scientists have said the comment could put on a dazzling show in the night sky, they’ve also said it could crumble under the gravitational pull of the sun.
However, Air Berlin is organizing the first ever observation trip for a close-up look at the comet.
The Bon-based German travel company, Eclipse Travel, has arranged to fly 88 people into the night sky to view the Pan-STARRS comet from 36,000 feet above the earth on March 16 when the tail of the comet is expected to be the longest and most visible.
The travel company has teamed up with Air Partner and Air Berlin for its first comet observation trip on a Boeing 737-700 flight.
This flight is a one-time opportunity. The flight pattern will follow a zig-zag pattern giving passengers the best seat to view the dazzling spectacle. According to CNN Travel, those booking a spot on the flight who don’t want to share a window can reserve two adjoining seats or an entire row.
Pan-STARRS from the Ground
For those who don’t have the time to catch a flight to see the Pan-STARRS comet, it is visible above the western horizon after sunset for those living in the U.S. However ideal conditions are a cloudless evening in a dark location away from street lights and other illumination.
Check out the horizon as soon as the sun sets. Use your binoculars to help spot it in the twilight. Clouds and smog can also limit chances of spotting the tail burning in the sky. This is one reason astronomy enthusiasts are booking seats on the comet viewing flight.
It may be the first, but possibly not the last such flight as another comet, ISON, is expected to be visible as it passes Earth in November, 2013.
For more information visit the Eclipse Travel website.