Observer: Jerry Lodriguss
Location: Batsto, New Jersey
Date: February 16, 1997 9:58-10:27 UT
First image is a composite of two exposures, one 3 minutes, and one 5 minutes at 9:58 and 10:07 UT on 16 February 1997. The comet was photographed on gas-hypersensitized Fujicolor Super G 800 Plus with a Nikon 400mm f/2.8 ED lens from Batsto, NJ. The two original film exposures were scanned and digitized and then combined in Photoshop.
Second image is Comet Hale-Bopp and the Cygnus Milky Way just before the beginning of astronomical twilight on February 16, 1997. This is a five minute exposure at 10:27 UT on gas-hypersensitized Kodak PJM Ektapress Multi-speed with a 55mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens. This photo was contrast enhanced in Photoshop to bring out the complete extent of the faint ion tail of the comet and does not represent a true picture of the visual appearance of the comet. Although the comet's false nucleus was very bright at an approximate magnitude of +2 and easily naked eye as a star like object surrounded by a diffuse glow, it is not as large as this photo suggests. In the photo, the entire coma and short dust tail have turned white because of the contrast enhancement. Visually, the comet's coma and dust tail were a much more subtle sight.
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