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Comet Pan-STARRS: Travel Agency To Sell Flights To Few Dramatic Light Show

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PANSTARRS
Comet Pan-STARRS photographed in New Zealand | AP

A German travel agency will run flights into the night sky to provide dramatic views of a comet about to pass over the Northern Hemisphere.

The comet Pan-STARRS is currently visible above the southern hemisphere, and is becoming brighter every day.

It is currently about 100 million miles from Earth, but is gradually approaching the Sun.

Astronomers say that by Thursday the comet will be visible in the northern hemisphere with the naked eye. Eagle-eyed viewers with a good vantage point will be able to see it in the low west-southwest horizon about 30 minutes after sunset.

On Sunday it will make its closest approach to the Sun's surface, leading it to shed ice and dust in a luminous streaming tail.

Eclipse Travel in Germany said it will make the most of the opportunity by selling 88 window seats on a commercial jet to get a better view.

The Boeing 737-700 will fly up to about 11,000 metres where the thinner air and lack of clouds means the view will be better than on the ground.

The cost of the two-hour flight will be about £310-400.

The comet Pan-STARRS was discovered in 2011 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS, in Hawaii.

Meanwhile another comet - ISON - is still on course to make a dramatic sight in the sky later this year.

Already dubbed the 'Comet of the Century', some predictions say ISON will shine brighter than the Moon in the night sky and might even be visible during the day. It is set to arrive in August and will peak in late November - unless it breaks apart of flies off course beforehand.

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