Science: Comet of the Century

Even now it is hurtling closer, racing toward a year-end rendezvous with the sun. By December it will be the brightest object in the predawn sky, providing early risers with an unusual celestial display. The newly discovered comet may eventually be 50 times as brilliant as Halley's comet, which last dazzled the world in 1910; its tail could arc across some 30°—or one-sixth—of the evening sky. With no effort at hyperbole, Harvard Astronomer Fred Whipple says the onrushing giant "may well be the comet of the century."

The great comet was discovered in March by...

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