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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Campus

Cougars spy unusual superstar


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Munshi Shyam, left, and Doug Hope, center, and assistant professor of physics and astronomy Juan Carlos Reina ready their telescopes to view the once-in-a-lifetime comet. | 1997/The Daily Cougar

Hale-Bopp, a comet that was visible from the Earth’s surface from May 1996 to April 1997, was one of the brightest and most widely seen comets of the 20th century. Then-UH students Munshi Shyam, Doug Hope and assistant professor of physics and astronomy Juan Carlos Reina were shown in The Daily Cougar with their telescopes in the January 1997 edition at the observatory at the Science and Research 1 Building.

The comet received widespread attention, especially on the newly budding Internet. It was famous for its nigh-unprecedented brightness, reaching its height on April 1, 1997, when it was brighter than the stars behind it.

Hale-Bopp broke records, was the source of further astrological research and inspired conspiracy theories and UFO sightings.

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