Tuesday, September 3, 1996

Hale-Bopp... dim and dimmer?

I was in my backyard tonight, catching up on the whereabouts of the next great comet.

Last night, not knowing its current location, I scanned low in Ophiuchus, mistaking some globular clusters for the comet. So, today, I looked in the May issue of S&T, to see where they placed it for early September. Boy, that sucker is moving!

Anyway, I remember it having a very bright nucleus, with quite a large bright coma, diffusing nicely.

Well, tonight I *think* I caught up with it, and either my backyard is suddenly a good magnitude brighter (which I doubt), or the comet seems dimmer.

I place it in roughly in the area of M14 (a fairly generous estimate, not exact at all). Since there should not be anything that bright in the general area, I assume I am looking at Hale-Bopp, but damn, it seems dim.

Anyone else think this guy is fading?

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