Comet Hale-Bopp / Feb. 19 & Mar. 4, 1997

We've been keeping a regular watch on Comet Hale-Bopp lately and it has been improving a lot in the last few weeks. Naked-eye it's now looking like a comet and easy to spot from a dark-sky location.   Hale-Bopp looks nice on film; you can see the narrow blue ion tail and its diffuse dust tail pretty clearly. The Feb. 19 photo is a 10 minute exposure, and the March 4 photo a 4 minute exposure on ASA 3200 film using a 200 mm f 3.0 telephoto lens with the camera riding piggyback on my observatory's main telescope. Over the next few weeks, Hale-Bopp will be slowly making its transition from morning to evening sky, and should appear brighter near the end of March.

-- Chris G.

Photos taken Mar. 26, 1997

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