Comet Hale-Bopp viewed from Los Alamos

Comet Hale-Bopp has headed south for the next 2400 years. It was a Great comet! The comet is slowly getting further from Earth.... The closest approach to the Sun was on April 1, 1997. The whitish dust tail was easy to see, but you couldn't see the other tail (the bluish ion tail) without very dark conditions. To take pictures of the comet, we piggybacked an SLR camera on the back of a tracking telescope. For a "static picture" such as on April 5, 1997, we used a fast film (Fuji 800), a good lens stopped down at least one stop from its fastest settting, and then a 1-minute exposure. Typically, at 30 seconds, you will get star trails (due to the Earth's rotation) even with a 50 mm lens. For higher magnifications, you must use shorter exposures to avoid significant trailing....... unless you have special guiding equipment. 

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