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Milan Image of Comet Hale-Bopp


Observer: Wil Milan
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Date: March 2, 1997

Closer view of the head of comet Hale-Bopp on March 2, 1997. Note the bluish ionized gas tail on the left and the wider yellowish dust tail toward the right. The ionized gas tail always points away from the sun because it is being pushed by the solar wind. The dust tail is also pushed by solar wind, but the larger and heavier dust particles separated from the comet remain visible after the comet has left, which is why the comet leaves behind a dust trail. In this photo the comet is moving toward the left, leaving a wide fan tail of dust which fades to the right. Taken with a 4" f/5 Tele Vue Genesis apochromatic refractor on a Super Polaris mount, unhypered Kodak PPF400 (400 ASA) film, 4-minute exposure from my backyard in Phoenix

Wil Milan

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