Observing Comet Hale-Bopp

First, a wide-angle picture taken from a spot about 3 miles south of Conesus, New York, with a Nikkormat camera, 135-mm f/2.8 lens, piggybacked on a 10" LX-200 on an Alt-Az mount: 5 minute exposure, starting at 7:55 PM, Mar 27, 1997 EST.


And now, several images taken at the RIT Observatory. Each is an unfiltered exposure taken with the 10-inch Meade telescope and Pictor 416 CCD camera, on the night of April 1, 1997 EST.

The first is a 1/8 second exposure. We've zoomed in on the nucleus to show more clearly two of the "shells" of dust and gas produced by a spinning jet of material sublimating from the nucleus.

The second is a 2-second exposure. We show the full 3x5-arcminute field of view of this image, and use a color palette to emphasize the subtle variation of intensity in the comet's coma.

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