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.

March 7, 1997
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Comet Hale-Bopp Enters the Evening Sky
A. Dimai (Col Drusciè Obs.), AAC, February 18th

Explanation: You no longer have to wake-up early to see Comet Hale-Bopp. From many northern locations, you can now go outside just after sunset and see Comet Hale-Bopp above the north-western horizon. Both writer/editors of APOD are impressed by how bright Comet Hale-Bopp has become, and how easily visible it is. The central coma is now visible from almost any location - even from a bright city. The blue ion tale is visible from a dark location. Comet Hale-Bopp's coma now rivals even last year's Comet Hyakutake, and the tail appears to be increasing in length daily.

Tomorrow's picture: COBE Dipole: Speeding Through the Universe

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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.