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01-02-2013, 11:50 AM
Tom Polakis
Eternal Optimist
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tempe, AZ
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Originally Posted by ddawg1950 View Post
This will date me, but I remember the hype around comet kohoutec back in 73/74. It was hyped as the biggest comet event of all time, visible to the naked eye, etc. and it brought out a few of the end of the world types at the time.

Total dud.
A lot of good science in the past 40 years has resulted in a better understanding of how and why comets brighten. A few examples of comets that were predicted to be bright, and were, include:

Comet Hyakutake (1996)
Comet Hale-Bopp (1997)
Comet McNaught (2007)

This comet will be very bright in November, but what is being left out of most of the press releases is that it will only be bright when it is very close to the sun. Before and after its closest approach, the comet will be low in the sky before dawn, when most people are in bed. It will only be "as bright as the Full Moon" for a brief period when it's very close to the sun, and visible subtly during the day.

Comet McNaught

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