7 Facts About Comet Hale-Bopp Last Seen in 1997

Comets are celestial bodies formed from the remains of the formation of the solar system. The materials that make up comets are dust, rock, and ice. These comets vary in size, ranging from a few kilometers to tens of kilometers in diameter. As it orbits the Sun, the comet burns up and emits a tail of gas and dust.

One of the most famous comets is Comet Hale-Bopp. This comet is known for being one of the most viewed comets in history. Check out the information about Comet Hale-Bopp below.

1. Last seen in 1997

Foto Komet Hale-Bopp (dok. European Southern Observatory)

This comet is clearly visible in the Northern Hemisphere. The light produced by this comet is very bright, so it can be seen clearly without any tools. The reason why Comet Hale-Bopp can be seen directly by the eye is because of its very close distance.

Comet Hale-Bopp’s closest distance from the Sun is 0.914 AU. An astronomical unit (AU) is a unit of distance approximately equal to the distance from the Sun to the Earth. One SA is equivalent to approximately 150 million kilometers.

2. Found by two researchers

7 Facts About Comet Hale-Bopp Last Seen in 1997cambridge-news.co.uk

Usually, comets are named by the person who discovered them or the observatory where they were seen. Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered by two amateur researchers named Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp. This comet was first discovered on July 23, 1995 in the United States.

Hale and Bopp managed to find this comet before it could be seen with the eye. The comet, which has another name C/1995 01, was discovered at a distance of 7.15 AU. This comet was found near the star cluster M70 with a magnitude of 10.5.

3. Seen for more than a year

7 Facts About Comet Hale-Bopp Last Seen in 1997id.pinterest.com

Comet Hale-Bopp earned the nickname “The Great Comet of 1997”. This name was given because this comet can be seen directly from Earth for more than a year. The comet was clearly visible in the Northern Hemisphere until it was last seen on April 1, 1997.

The light from this comet with a blue-and-white tail is very bright. People can still see this comet in a city full of light pollution without any tools. Comet Hale-Bopp’s closest distance to Earth is 1.315 AU, or about 196 million kilometers.

Read also: Often considered the same, these are the 5 main differences between meteors and comets

4. Ukuran Komet Hale-Bopp

7 Facts About Comet Hale-Bopp Last Seen in 1997Gerald Rhemann/Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year

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Comet Hale-Bopp is a large comet. The core of this comet has a diameter of 60 kilometers. Then, the tail of this comet has a length of up to 100 million kilometers.

Like other celestial bodies, this comet also rotates on its axis. The time taken for Comet Hale-Bopp to make a rotation is about 11 hours and 46 minutes. This rotation time is calculated through the cometary material that is released from the comet’s core.

5. Causing Internet trouble

7 Facts About Comet Hale-Bopp Last Seen in 1997cometwatch.co.uk

This comet became very famous because it can be seen directly. In fact, Comet Hale-Bopp became a sensation in newspapers and the Internet. Due to a lot of talk about Comet Hale-Bopp, there was a problem with Internet access.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory page is visited by 1.2 million people every day. This surge in visitors happened because everyone wanted to find out about Comet Halet-Bopp. NASA had to prepare two pages mirror so that visitors can see this comet information.

6. There is a sect that worships this Comet

7 Facts About Comet Hale-Bopp Last Seen in 1997nasa.gov

The sensation caused by Comet Hale-Bopp also has a negative impact. One of them was the emergence of a sect called Heaven’s Gate. This group was formed by a music professor named Marshall Applewhite.

The group believes that Comet Hale-Bopp was followed by an alien spacecraft. They believe that the human body is just a vessel and can be left behind to become a higher being. In March 1997, Applewhite and his followers drank alcohol which resulted in death.

7. Will be seen again for thousands of years

7 Facts About Comet Hale-Bopp Last Seen in 1997Comet illustration (pexels.com/KID CANDY)

The time taken by Comet Hale-Bopp to orbit the Sun is about 2520 years. Before being spotted in 1997, this comet was thought to be in the perihelion (closest distance of a celestial body to the Sun) in 2215 BC. After going through the countdown, Comet Hale-Bopp will return to Earth again perihelion in 4385.

The orbit of Comet Hale-Bopp is oval. If perihelion This comet is at 0.914 SA, aphelion (the farthest distance of a celestial body from the Sun) from Comet Hale-Bopp is 370.8 AU or about 55.3 billion kilometers. The orbit of this comet is thought to be shifting and has the potential to hit Earth in the future.

It took a very long time for Comet Hale-Bopp to be seen again. Don’t worry, there are many other comets that are no less beautiful than Hale-Bopp. View a star map and find out information about comets that can be seen from Earth.

Have you ever observed comets and other celestial bodies? Share your feedback in the comments column, yes!

Also Read: Amazing! These are the 5 brightest comets that humans have ever seen

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