Observer: Dewey Vanderhoff
Location: Cody, Wyoming
Date: April 17, 1997 05:00 UT
They say comets are "dirty snowballs" . Here's a forensic photo of Hale-Bopp passing over the snowpack of the high Absaroka Mountains of Wyoming. The snowpack is currently about 140 to 180 percent of normal ( Look closely... see those cornices up at the skyline ?..they're probably fifty feet thick...the mountain is at least 12 miles away in this photo ).
Imaged on Thursday night April 16 at 11:00 PM- MDT ( 5:00 UT April 17 ) using a Tokina 80-200 ATX zoom at 200 mm ; Fuji 800 at f/ 2.8 for 20 seconds with an 8-day old Moon lighting the snow. Notice how much the stars and comet have moved in a stationary long lens scene...that's why I don't use long lenses very often to do starscape photos...lenses longer than 50 mm amplify star motion pretty quickly, relative to exposure time.
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