Observer: Jan Vesely
Location: Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Date: February 17, 1997 04:31 UT
Comet Hale-Bopp is about magnitude 1.2, according to my estimate this morning. It was even visible by day. Through a telescope, of course. After several cloudy nights I took some images of the comet, and then I let the 8" f/17.5 refractor (on which the telephoto lens with the CCD was piggybacked) to track the comet. Around sunrise, 7 o'clock local time, the core of the comet was still visible through refractor with 25 mm eyepiece (140x). About 30 minutes after the sunrise the comet definitely disappeared. With roughly estimated magnitude of the core about +2 mag., which will probably brighten next days, it should not be a problem to find and observe Hale-Bopp by day through telescopes larger then 8", if you have a perfectly polar-aligned mount (clear sky is also needed). First image is taken by PixCel 255 (ST-5) CCD through photographic lens 4/300. Exposition started at 04:31 UT and lasted 120 seconds. The image was log scaled.
The second image was then contrast and brightness enhanced to reveal fine structure near the nucleus.
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