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Comet Hale-Bopp (Credit: A. Dimai and D. Ghirardo) It was also called the Great Comet of 1997 and was a naked eye object for eighteen months. The comet was not only extremely bright, but also had two tails. Mona Evans, "Comets"

Comet ISON. Experienced observers put the comet's magntitude at +5.5 on Nov. 16th. This means it is now fully 10 times brighter than it was only three days ago before the outburst. In this telescopic view the tail is a riotous crowd of gaseous streamers stretching more than 3.5 degrees across the sky. (Credit: Waldemar Skorupa, Kahler Asten, Germany) Mona Evans, "Comets"

What Is a Sun-grazing Comet? Sungrazers, at their closest to the Sun, are within 850,000 miles, sometimes much closers. The strong tidal forces destroy many of them. This 3-minute video gives a good explanation of what goes on. Mona Evans, "Comets"

Finder chart for Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2, during January 2015. The dates are in Universal Time; the ticks are at 0:00 UT (7 p.m. on the previous date Eastern Standard Time).