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Comet Hale–Bopp - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
Comet Hale–Bopp

Date: 1996/07/09 [Time of day not marked]

I've viewed Hale–Bopp a couple of times now with 7×50 binoculars. I'd describe it as quite similar in size and brightness to the globular cluster M-22. I came across it accidentally while trying to find objects on the binocular Messier list. I thought that was rather amusing, finding a comet while looking for objects in a list of objects that were not supposed to be confused with comets. Anyway, I figured out what it was by looking at a star map and finding nothing where I saw it, and finding that it was just about where it should be according to Astronomy magazine's finder chart said it should be.

I'm viewing from Redmond, WA, USA, near Seattle. I came across it the first time on a very dark night (limiting magnitude 5.5), and it was very hard to miss. I looked again on a less dark night with poor dark adaptation (limiting magnitude 4.7 or worse for me), and it was still pretty easy to find, but not obvious.

        Steve [my real last name]

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