…continuedHow Yuji Hyakutake Found His Comet
Yuji Hyakutake (19502002)
Hyakutake is most remembered for his 1996 comet that bore his name. Regarded by many as the most stunning of the past decade, the comet (C/1996 B2), amazed skywatchers worldwide with its nearly 100°-long tail.
He discovered the visitor with a pair of Fujinon 25x150 binoculars from a mountaintop near his home in the village of Hayato in Kyushu's Kagoshima Prefecture, about 950 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. His first comet find, C/1995 Y1, came only six months after he began his weekly dedicated comet hunts. But it was his second discovery that earned him worldwide recognition.
The new comet soon delighted skywatchers as it put on the best display since Comet West in 1976. "I'm a bit perplexed by all the attention paid to me, when it is the comet that deserves the credit," Hyakutake later said of his instant fame.
Yuji Hyakutake leaves behind a wife, Shoko, and two sons.