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.

October 6, 1998
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Comet Williams in 1998
Credit & Copyright: Gordon Garradd

Explanation: The brightest comet in the sky right now is Comet Williams. Moving slowly though the constellation of Centaurus, Comet Williams, at magnitude 8, is visible to Southern Hemisphere observers with binoculars. In ten days, Comet Williams will reach its closest point to the Sun, although it will still be farther from the Sun than the Earth. Comet Williams should become visible to many Northern Hemisphere observers in late November. At magnitude 10, however, it might require a small telescope to see. Comet Williams was discovered in early August by Peter Williams. The above image was taken August 25th from Australia.

Tomorrow's picture: Pole to Pole

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
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&: Michigan Tech. U.