FEATURES I'll never forget the night of August 19, 1995, when I first saw Comet Hale-Bopp. Back in 1997, Richard M. West (of Comet West fame) looked ahead to the present day: "Just over two decades from now, in 2020, [Comet Hale-Bopp] will be 43 a.u. from the Sun and, assuming a diameter of approximately 20 km, the apparent magnitude of the nucleus will be around 29 to 30." In the end, Comet Hale-Bopp made a stronger impression on the lay public than any other recent comet and was likely the most widely viewed comet in human history. A COMET OF TWO TAILS (Right) Like many comets, Hale-Bopp sported two distinct tails - a broad, amorphous dust tail and a narrow, blue-tinted ion tail, as presented in this photograph taken by Bill Roberts on April 4, 1997. [Extracted from the article]
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