Astronomy Picture of the Day
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August 20, 1995
Announcing Comet Hale-Bopp
Credit: Erich Meyer and Herbert Raab, Austria
The pictured fuzzy patch
may become one of the most spectacular
comets this century. Although it is very hard to predict how bright a
named for its
was spotted further from the
than any previous comet - a good sign that it could become
very bright, easily visible to the naked eye. This picture was
taken on July 25th 1995, only two days after its discovery. A
bright enough to see without a telescope occurs only about once a decade. The
of bright comets are so unusual and impressive
that they have been considered omens of change by many cultures. A
comet does not streak by in few seconds - but it may change its position
and structure noticeably from night to night.
Tomorrow's picture: An Orbiting Iceberg
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