Comet Hale-Bopp

Here are some pictures Tom took of comet Hale-Bopp on April 3rd, 1997. Each picture was taken with a stationary camera on a tripod, a 50mm lens wide open for 20 or 30 seconds, and Fuji Super G 800 film. The viewing site was just off a logging road about an hour west of Portland, OR.

(NOTE: This page looks best with your computer set to display thousands or millions of colors.)

The picture above shows the comet diving into the horizon. Note the yellowish dust tail and the blue ion tail. You can see a faint trail of a meteor above center. At the bottom are the tops of some nearby trees. The red streak was caused by an airplane (The plane passed right through Cassiopeia - can you find the five stars that form the big "W" of this constellation? See if the stars you pick match the ones outlined in the picture at the bottom of the page).

Another shot. Down at the bottom you can see the lights from a house about a mile away.

All the pictures have the nucleus over-exposed to bring out the intricate structure of the tails, which is evident in this close-up.

This picture is the exception: It was taken in late March from my backyard in Tualatin. Most of the lighting is from city light pollution and moonlight.

Let's see, did you find the stars that make up Cassiopeia?