It's being billed as the biggest, brightest comet in the last century.
So spectacular that backyard stargazers can already spot it hovering on the eastern horizon each day before dawn.
Comet Hale-Bopp, discovered by two Americans in 1995, won't get any closer to Earth than 122 million miles.
But it's so big -- with a nucleus about 25 miles in diameter -- the comet's tail could stretch across a third of the sky
when it reaches peak brilliance in late March and early April.
By then, even the most amateur of astronomers without telescopes will be able track it on the northwestern horizon in the
hours after sunset.
Best day for viewing? April Fool's Day, when the comet arrives at perihelion -- the closest it will get to the sun.
Where and when to gaze at Hale-Bopp