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Comet Hale-Bopp

Nature Magazine cover image of Hale-Bopp

The above Hubble image was taken on September 26th, 1995 when comet Hale-Bopp was still well outside the orbit of Jupiter, at a distance of over 600,000 million miles from the Sun. Even relatively modest-sized telescopes could see the comet at this time because it was exceptionally bright. Analysis of the Hubble images indicate that the nucleus of Hale-Bopp might be up to 25 miles across, making it one of the largest comets ever discovered.

(back to Hale-Bopp & Hyakutake essay)

Photo: H. A. Weaver, Johns Hopkins University, his HST observing team, and NASA.

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