In July 1995, two amateur astronomers, working independently hundreds of kilometers apart in the American Southwest, discovered a new comet. In and of itself this is was not unusal, but when astronomers found that Comet Hale-Bopp was still more than 18 months and nearly a billion kilometers from perihelion, it soon gathered interest as a "Comet of the Century" candidate.
Will Hale-Bopp truly be a "Comet of the Century", or will it be a fizzle? Turn to this special Web site, sponsored by SpaceViews, for articles about the comet, information about observing the comet, and links to other online resources about the comet. Then, go outside and see the comet with your own eyes, and judge for yourself.
PHOTO CREDITS (top to bottom): Herman Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia; University of Sonora, Mexico; Alessandro Dimai, Piergiorgio Cusinato, Col Druscie Observatory, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy; Space Telescope Science Institute.