Comet Hale-Bopp - Wide Angle

Hale-Bopp50(400).jpg (52944 bytes)

Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered in 1995, nearly a year before Comet Hyakutake, and almost two years before it reached perihelion in 1997.  In contrast to Hyakutake, which was physically ordinary but passed extremely close to Earth, Hale-Bopp had an extremely large and active nucleus but did not pass particularly close to Earth.  Also in contrast to Hyakutake, Hale-Bopp had a bright dust tail that was more easily seen in light polluted skies than Hyakutake's fainter gas tail.  In this image, the broad dust tail can bee seen curving upward and to the right (north) while the fainter bluish gas tail points toward the top right of the image.  On the left side of the image the Pleiades are visible.  The streak in the left portion of the image is an airplane.

Instrument:  Nikon 50mm/1.8 lens on fixed camera tripod
F-ratio:  f/2.8
Exposure:  60 seconds
Film:  Ektachrome P1600
Date:  April 12, 1997
Location:  Cottonwood Springs Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Technical Notes:  This photograph was affected by skyglow from the Coachella Valley to the west.  Lights from the campground and from vehicles are also visible in the lower right of the image.  There was also fairly heavy air traffic going toward Los Angeles, which showed on some of my other exposures.

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