Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Hale-Bopp: The Great Comet of 1997
Posted on 10/13/2013 3:50:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Sixteen years ago, Comet Hale-Bopp rounded the Sun and offered a dazzling spectacle in planet Earth's night. This stunning view, recorded shortly after the comet's 1997 perihelion passage, features the memorable tails of Hale-Bopp -- a whitish dust tail and blue ion tail. Here, the ion tail extends well over ten degrees across the northern sky, fading near the double star clusters in Perseus, while the head of the comet lies near Almach, a bright star in the constellation Andromeda. Do you remember Hale-Bopp? The photographer's sons do, pictured in the foreground at ages 12 and 15. In all, Hale-Bopp was reported as visible to the naked eye from roughly late May 1996 through September 1997. Currently, sky enthusiasts await Comet ISON's continued brightening in the coming weeks, unsure how interesting its first journey to the inner Solar System will be.
(Excerpt) Read more at 188.8.131.52 ...
[Credit & Copyright: Jerry Lodriguss (Catching the Light)]
I went over to my Parents house which was located in a dark and clear sky. I focused my spotting scope on it.
I can remember telling my parents about it and being surprised that they wanted to see it. They were around 80 at the time but they went out and looked at it. I think it was the only comet they ever saw.
The 90s were a great time to be an amateur astronomer in the U.S..
The annular eclipse of 94
The Perseid shower peak
And the new World Wide Web just added to the fun.
Man I hope ISON lives up to the hype. Things have been a bit dry in the Eastern U.S. for the past 14 years.
Hale-Bopp was a nice one. When I was a kid there was a naked-eye comet, huge in the eastern sky, around 2 am. I don’t think it lasted long, but I really didn’t feel like getting up at 2 am every day. This wasn’t Kahoutek, that turned out to require telescopic viewing.
It was visible here to the eye, but details were much easier to appreciate with some help — I was shopping for a new bicycle, and the dealer (in some tiny little hamlet south along US-131) had binoculars in the store for just such an eventuality. :’)
Yes it was visible to the naked eye when I saw it but it was so small as to not see a lot. My spotting scope was a 22X60 Celestron with ED glass. Quite a bit sharper than the standard one.
When we looked at it, it was slightly North of West in the twilight of the Florida Panhandle.
I kept telling people that Hale-Bopp would be the only time in their lives they would see a comet like that. I was amazed to find that many of them just didn’t care or bother to look at it. Anyway, I hope I will be wrong later this year. Ison should be pretty awsome of what they say is true. Passing within a million and a half miles of the sun could vaporize most or all of it.
I remember enjoying the sight of this comet out of the side window of my car on my way home from work many mornings, back then.
That's when a "religious" leader in San Diego convinced 50 or so followers to poison themselves and rejoin on the Hale-Bopp comet.
These people were weak, the "Leader" a monster.
The next day, Tony Snow filled in for Limbaugh on the radio and laid into this monster. My family and I sat there transfixed.
We miss Tony Snow, he passed way too soon.
Their leader must have been extremely forceful. He talked many of them to castrate them self then all of them to take poison.
For all I know the space ship did pick them up but I think the odds are that there was no ship.
Isn’t there some other sort of link, other than going to the internet pigsty called facebook?
I just checked every last link in post one, and guess what? Not even one is to Facebook.
I was living in Japan at the time. As you said, it was naked eye visible but pretty small. All we had was 7x50 binos but they helped a lot.
The Japanese turned out some great binoculars during WWII and after. I have two which were made around 1960. A 7X50 which was made for the Australian Navy and a 6X30 with identical construction. The larger one has a range finding gradicle.
The 6X30 only has Nippon Kogaku (Nikon) while the 7X50 has Nikon and Nippon Kogaku. They both have individual eyepiece adjustment which I suppose makes it easier to make them waterproof. There is a fair amount of wear on the outside of both but the glass is perfect and not a hint of dust or haze in either.
The quality is breathtaking. Not as good as the Nikon edg or the best Zeiss or Swarovski but still way ahead of all but the very best even now.
I also have a 7X50 marked “made in occupied Japan” These are also just marked Nippon Kogaku. Nearly as good as the other two and way ahead of the typical discount house binoculars.
Binos for stargazing are awesome. Binoviewers for telescopes are awesome squared.
These people were weak, the "Leader" a monster.
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