What do you think?

Ancient people feared comets. Knowing nothing about science or basic astronomy, can you imagine seeing this object—Comet Hale-Bopp, suddenly appear in the skies, larger and brighter than anything you have ever seen? How would the appearance of a bright comet have possibly affected you?

Image of Comet Hale-Bopp against the background of stars.
Image courtesy of Mike Reynolds, Ph.D. of Florida State College at Jacksonville.