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Heine Drawing of Comet Hale-Bopp

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Observer: Uwe Heine
Location: Burlington, North Carolina
Date: February 23, 1997 10:30-11:00 UT

My first drawing of Hale-Bopp based on telescopic (instead of binocular) observation. The amazing thing that was immediately apparent at a number of different magnifications was the pattern of concentric bands in the major southward jet. Close examination revealed it to be a sigmoid pattern (see inset), suggesting an expanding helix as seen from the side. This would be consistent with the spin axis of the comet being almost exactly perpendicular to our current line-of-sight, and oriented in the general direction of the southward facing jet. Is there any data to confirm or deny this hypothesis? I realize this is stretching things do base such a conclusion on one observation! The observations were made on Feb 23, 1997 at 10:30 - 11:00 UT. 60 - 250x in a 6" newtonian.

Uwe Heine
collinn@netpath.net


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