Uploaded 16-Aug-08
Taken 8-Sep-08
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Dimensions1600 x 1059
Original file size747 KB
Image typeJPEG
Color spacesRGB
Date modified8-Sep-08 19:06
Comet Hyakutake

Comet Hyakutake

Canon F1, 80-200 f/4 (80mm), off-axis guided with C8
8 minutes @ f/4, Kodak P1600 (800 ISO)

Comet Hyakutake (Japanese pronunciation: [çʲakɯ̥take], formally designated C/1996 B2) is a comet, discovered on 31 January 1996, that passed very close to Earth in March of that year. It was dubbed TheGreat Comet of 1996; its passage near the Earth was one of the closest cometary approaches of the previous 200 years. Hyakutake appeared very bright in the night sky and was widely seen around the world. The comet temporarily upstaged the much anticipated Comet Hale–Bopp, which was approaching the inner Solar System at the time.
Scientific observations of the comet led to several discoveries. Most surprising to cometary scientists was the first discovery of X-ray emission from a comet, believed to have been caused by ionised solar wind particles interacting with neutral atoms in the coma of the comet. The Ulysses spacecraft unexpectedly crossed the comet's tail at a distance of more than 500 million kilometres (3.3 AU or 3×108 mi) from the nucleus, showing that Hyakutake had the longest tail known for a comet. (from Wikipedia)