Comet Hyakutake (C/1996 B2)
Fr.: comète Hyakutake
A → long-period comet found in January 1996, which became the brightest comet since → Comet West in 1976. It was a bright naked-eye object and remained so in March, April, and May of 1996. At closest approach to Earth on March 25, is was only 0.10 AU away, displaying a long tail of up to 100 degrees. Small fragments were observed to break off the main nucleus. Hyakutake was the first comet from which X-ray emission was detected.
→ comet; Named after the Japanese amateur astronomer Yuuji Hyakutake (1951-2002), who discovered this comet in the morning of January 30, 1996.