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.
August 6, 1997
Explanation: Good cameras were able to obtain impressive photographs of Comet Hale-Bopp when at its brightest earlier this year. In the above photograph taken April 5th, Comet Hale-Bopp was imaged from the Indian Cove Campground in the Joshua Tree National Forest in California, USA. A flashlight was used to momentarily illuminate foreground rocks in this 30 second exposure. Comet Hale-Bopp is still visible to the unaided eye in Earth's Southern Hemisphere, with observers there reporting it to be about 4th magnitude. The comet is now passing nearly in front of the star Sirius, and shows only a slight dust tail.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.