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Famous comet hunter dies suddenly

Sunday April 14th 2002

Yuji Hyakutake dies at 51! Renowned amateur astronomer and comet hunter Yuji Hyakutake pictured below has died at the age of 51 from internal bleeding caused by aortic aneurysm.

Hyakutake is best remembered for his discovery of the comet, which bore his name and which graced our skies in early 1996. Seen below, the comet, regarded by some to be the most beautiful of the past decades will be remembered for its Ion tail, which was in the order of 100 degrees long, and also for the short period that it was visible!


Comet Hyakutake picture, courtesy of Gerald Rehmann, http://www.astrostudio.at/

He discovered the visitor with a pair of giant Fujinon 25x150 binoculars from a mountaintop near his home in the village of Hayato about 950 kilometres southwest of Tokyo. His first comet find, C/1995Y1 came only six months after he began his weekly comet hunts. But it was his second discovery that led to worldwide recognition.

Yuji Hyakutake leaves behind a wife, Shoko, and two sons.

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