What Comet Is Visible From Earth?


Quick Answer

As of 2014, the last four "great comets" that were visible from Earth are Comet Hyakutake (1996), Comet Hale-Bopp (1997), Comet McNaught (2007) and Comet LoveJoy (2011). These and other great comets have been seen only once, except for the periodic Halley's Comet, which was last seen in 1986.

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Full Answer

There have been many visible comets from Earth, but only a few earned the title of "great comets." To be identified as such, a comet must be bright and visible to the naked eye on a dark sky. Also, it must be very visually impressive; this can only happen when it has a large, active nucleus and it comes particularly close to the sun or to the Earth. Usually, great comets produce large amounts of gas and dust, which create visually striking tails.

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