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Sipe Images of Comet Hale-Bopp


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Copyright 1997 Russell Sipe
Observer: Russell Sipe
Location: Anza, California
Date: February 9, 1997

This photo and the next were taken from my observing pad at the Orange County Astronomers site near Anza, California. First photo was taken with a standard 35mm camera with 50mm lens (Olympus OM-1). The film is Fuji 1600 print. The exposure time was 5 minutes. The resulting print was processed in Photoshop. The camera was piggybacked on the back of a Takahashi 4" refractor. [Image]The comet has risen above the eastern horizon and sits at the pointed end of the constellation Sagitta, the arrow. Directly above the comet near the top of the photo is an asterism called "The Coathanger" . The same asterism can be seen in the photo in the Comet In The Cloud article elsewhere in HB Magazine. The tail of the comet was about three degrees long to the naked eye on the 9th. About six degrees long in binoculars.

The second shot was taken with a 200mm lens with a 10 minute exposure. All other details are as in the above photo. This shot reveals a bright short dust tail "above" the comet (actually to the northwest of the nucleus), and a longer but dimmer bluish ion gas t ail stretching away to the north of the comet. The bright star at the 2 o'clock position from the nucleus is the "point" star of Sagitta. The privious morning this star was covered by the tail of the comet. The movement over the course of a night is about one degree at this point.

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