Comet Hyakutake passed much closer to the Earth than Comet Hale-Bopp. Comet Hale-Bopp is a much larger comet, however. Compare this wide-angle photograph of Comet Hyakutake with the photo of Comet Hale-Bopp taken from a nearby location. Comet Hyakutake's tail was much longer than the tail of Comet Hale-Bopp (it extends, very faintly, off the top of this photograph). Comet Hale-Bopp has a much brighter coma (it is presently about 10 times brighter than Comet Hyakutake), and is much easier to see than Comet Hyakutake was - it can even be seen from locations with many city lights.
This photograph shows a little more than could be seen by the naked eye. It was taken in moonlight when the comet passed close to Polaris, the pole star. It shows a field of view of approximately 75 degrees. The island is named Manana; it is commonly referred to as Rabbit island.
Photograph by UH astronomer Richard J. Wainscoat
Creation: Mon Mar 24 13:50 1997 -- Hits: