Detail View: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection: How Much is That Comet in the Window?

How Much is That Comet in the Window?
The above true-color photo [ ] taken March 25th shows Comet Hyakutake [ ] passing below the stars of the Big Dipper [ ]. Many astronomy enthusiasts delight in helping people in their local community see the comet. Both Jerry Bonnell and I (RJN) from APOD [ ] have been so inclined - both now and when Comet Halley came by [ ] in 1986. During these sessions, many good questions are asked and occasionally a humorous situation will arise. One was with a little girl. She waited so patiently for her turn to look through the telescope, hardly able to contain her excitement. Finally her turn came. "Do you see the comet?" I asked. "Wow, wow, WOW!" She beamed. "You see it?" "No." One little boy seemed particularly bent on destruction. "This telescope looks like a big gun," he volunteered. "In some ways, it's even "more" powerful than a gun," I replied, hoping to challenge his imagination. "Really?" he countered. "Can we shoot down the comet?" "How expensive is the telescope?" is a fairly common question. But one time a "real" business-person showed up and, possibly feeling particularly affluent, asked "How much is the comet?"
Credit and Copyright: 
Johnny Horne, Fayetteville Publishing Co. [ ]
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
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