Night+Day

tuesday
march 25
Bop on Over On the grand scale of the solar system, Comet Hale-Bopp is but a blazing fragment of dust and gas, one of "billions and billions," as the late Carl Sagan might have said. Still, as scores of scientists and astronomy buffs realize, visible comets make brief and infrequent appearances. Comet researcher Carolyn Collins Petersen, author of Hubble Vision, puts Hale-Bopp in context with stories of comet origins and a description of how comets are transformed once they enter our area of the solar system in her lecture "Tales From the Comet Watch" at 7:30 p.m. at the California Academy of Sciences Planetarium, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $3; call 750-7127.

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