Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

February 27, 1997
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Comet Hale-Bopp is That Bright
Credit and Copyright:
T. Forrest, J. Wolfe, M. Norris, 1997

Explanation: What's that fuzzy star? It's not a star, it's Comet Hale-Bopp. Not only has Comet Hale-Bopp become easy to see in the morning sky, it has become hard not to see it. It's that bright. Any morning just before sunrise, look towards the east. Comet Hale-Bopp is one of the brightest objects up. Its dominating presence is shown dramatically by this photo taken just west of Williston, North Carolina, USA. Here Comet Hale-Bopp shines above the telephone poles lining Highway 70. Too tired to get up in the morning to see the comet? Don't worry, in less than a month it will also be visible in the evening sky, just before sunset. And it will have a longer tail. From the Space Shuttle, Dr. Steven Hawley says, "Hale-Bopp looks great."

Tomorrow's picture: Edge-On Spiral Galaxy NGC 891

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.