Observer: Brian Rau
Location: Clingman's Dome, Tennessee
Date: March 30, 1997 01:30-01:55 UT
Images of Hale-Bopp taken on March 29, 1997, approximately 8:30 PM EST, from Clingman's Dome (elevation 6600 feet) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN. Despite very clear conditions and very dark skies, light pollution from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and probably even Knoxville was visible and shows up in these photos. Cassiopeia is visible to the right of each frame, and the Perseus double cluster is visible near the top.
All photos taken with a Pentax ME Super on a fixed tripod with Pentax 50mm f/1.4 lens, using Fuji Provia 1600 processed for 800 ASA (1-stop push). The resulting slides were scanned onto a Kodak photo CD, and the images were then slightly sharpened and gamma corrected using Microsoft Imager to bring out more detail.
Image #1: Approximately 90 seconds at f/2. This exposure was cut short when someone got in their car and stepped on their brakes, flooding the area with light from their brake lights. I figured the shot would be a wash, but the red light on the foreground rocks gives a rather nice ethereal effect.
Image #2: 90 seconds at f/2, from a slightly different location.
All images copyright 1997 Brian D. Rau
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