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.
March 13, 1997
Explanation: The Great Comet of 1997
is now brighter than the Great Comet of 1996
ever was. In fact, it is brighter than almost every star in the
sky. Yet Comet Hale-Bopp
is still about two weeks away from maximum light.
Comet Hale-Bopp is now well north of the plane of the Earth's
orbit and on the same side of the sky as the Sun.
Therefore, Comet Hale-Bopp is visible
from Earth's Northern Hemisphere
both just after sunset and just before sunrise. The above picture
of Comet Hale-Bopp
was taken last week in Italy. Many Milky Way stars
and nebulae are visible. To the left is a rock face partly illuminated
by artificial light.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.