Comets are named after the people who discover them. The Ikeya-Zhang comet was discovered by Kaoru Ikeya of Japan and Zhang Daqing of China. It is thought to be the same comet seen in 1661.

Visiting us every 341 years or so, this pass makes it visible on the early morning horizon through the first few months of 2002. The bright moon at the beginning of April will make it hard to see for a while, but when the moon fades again in late April, those who wake early will be treated to a cometary visitor. It is pretty faint, so it will best be seen with binoculars or a telescope.

Look for the comet in the west northwest sky, just above the horizon. It's near the constellation of Cassiopeia. During the month of April, the tail should stretch to be about 10 full-moon-lengths long!


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