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Comet Hale-Bopp Update



Sky & Telescope News Bulletin
November 22, 1996

A week ago the air waves and Internet were abuzz with news of a "Saturn-like object" seen alongside Comet Hale-Bopp. A Houston astrophotographer claimed to have spotted this "new planet" on Art Bell's radio talk show. It turns out that the mystery object was SAO 141894, an 8th-magnitude background star missing from the sky-charting software the Texan was using. Meanwhile, moonlight and low altitude have made observing Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) difficult in recent days, but the comet is now about magnitude 4.5 and continues to brighten as it slips toward conjunction with the Sun. Here are Hale-Bopp's positions for the coming week at 0 hours Universal Time:

  Date         R. A.     Decl.
November 23   17h 56.4m  -1d 30'
         25   17  58.3   -1  18 
         27   18   0.2   -1   5 
         29   18   2.1   -0  51 

Copyright 1996 Sky Publishing Corporation. S&T's Weekly News Bulletin is provided as a service to the astronomical community by the editors of SKY & TELESCOPE magazine. Widespread electronic distribution is encouraged as long as this paragraph is included. But the text of the bulletin and calendar may not be published in any other form without permission from Sky Publishing (contact S&T's Weekly News Bulletin and "Sky at a Glance" are available via SKY Online on the World Wide Web ( At present they are not available via electronic mailing list. comethome.gif Comet Hale-Bopp Home Page