October 2, 2012
Many people recall spectacular Comet Hale-Bopp from the spring of 1997, shown in this image taken from Georgia. It is the brightest comet most of us have seen in our lives. If newly discovered Comet ISON lives up to some of the optimistic expectations, it could exceed the brightness of Hale-Bopp by a factor of 4,000, or it could fizzle out as it rounds the sun in November 2013.
Stories this photo appears in:
This week I have some really exciting celestial news to share. Astronomers have announced the discovery of a new comet that might — and I emphasize might — become the brightest comet seen from the Northern Hemisphere in many decades, if not centuries.