Science: Sighting a Cosmic Celebrity

Astronomers get their first naked-eye view of Halley's comet

On a crisp night early this month, Astronomers Stephen Edberg and Charles Morris, both 33, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., drove up a rocky slope on Mount Waterman, 25 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Scanning the moonless heavens with his binoculars, Morris sighted a faint light source. Then he located the same diffuse blob with his naked eyes. Meanwhile, Edberg sketched the position of the dim light and compared his drawing with the magnified view of the object provided by his binoculars. Sure enough, there it was. The two men had made the first unaided sighting of Halley's...

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