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Comet of the century looms large on the horizon


March 12, 1997
Web posted at: 7:09 p.m. EST (0009 GMT)

(CNN) -- It's expected to be the biggest and brightest comet to come our way since 1811, and amateur astronomers are already catching some stunning pictures.

As it approaches Earth, the Hale-Bopp comet is expected to become increasingly prominent in the night sky for the next two weeks. But you might have to set your alarm and get up early to see it.

This week, the comet will be primarily visible only before dawn. Look in the direction of the sunrise in the east and slightly to the left. Hale-Bopp will look like a fuzzy star.


Soon, the comet will be visible at sunset and dusk. The further north you live, the sooner that will happen; some Canadians may be able to see the comet at dusk now.

Just peer in the direction of the sunset and a little to the right.

Hale-Bopp is visible only in the Northern Hemisphere.

To get a good look, take a pair of binoculars. And of course go to an area away from street or city lights.

Correspondent Ann Kellan contributed to this report.


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