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.
April 16, 1997
Explanation: Comet Hale-Bopp continues to look impressive. The photograph above captured the comet on April 7th passing nearly in front of M34, a star cluster in the constellation of Perseus. Many of the stars in this open cluster can be seen through Comet Hale-Bopp's white dust tail. The bright blue ion tail now shows several streams. Now receding from both the Sun and the Earth, Comet Hale-Bopp should still remain an impressive sight for weeks to come as it slowly fades.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.