Comet Hale-Bopp, April 7th, 1997

Observations in Eindhoven-Noord, NL

In the papers the coming of a new comet in the sky was announced. It was expected to be promising. The comet would be easily observed for several weeks in a row, in the northern sky, and was even thought to have a tail. Though I had been an enthusiastic amateur astronomer until my twenties, I had never seen a proper comet yet. The hazy blur named after Kohoutek did not really deserve a name, as far as I was concerned. Moreover, Halley's comet, the one every astronomer was looking forward to behold dozens of years in advance, because it used to be a real spectacle every 76 years, turned out be a disappointment, such that I hadn't even bothered to go and look.

So with my expectations not aimed too high I cycled with my telescope and cameras to a dark road (Aanschot) in Blixembosch, Eindhoven-Noord. This comet did not let me down, for sure. It turned out to be quite an impressive sight: a bright spot and even a clearly visible tail, though not sky high.

The accompanying pictures haven been taken with ordinary single lens reflex cameras, the Olympus OM-2N and the Minolta Dynax 700SI, mounted on a tripod. The film I used was Ektachrome 100 Elite II slide film. Because the camera was fixed on the tripod and didn't follow the celestial motion, the exposure times could not be too long, or else the stars would become stripes and the comet a hazy wipe. Click on the miniatures to look at the scans.

Comet Hale-Bopp vertically Comet Hale-Bopp horizontally Comet Hale-Bopp tele 100 mm
Olympus OM-2N
Zuiko f/1,8 50 mm
t=1 min, f/2,8
Tijd 23:20 uur
Minolta Dynax 700SI
Minolta Dynax f/1,7 50 mm
t=30 sec, f/1,7
Tijd 23:50 uur
Olympus OM-2N
Zuiko f/2,8 100 mm
t=30 sec, f/2,8
Tijd 23:25 uur

Last updated April 14th, 2007
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