Comet Hale-Bopp

Roger Malcolm, Kewanee, Illinois, Apr. 8, 1997

This picture was taken north of Kewanee, Illinois, using a 70 mm lens at f/3.5 on a 35 mm camera guided by a telescope. The sky was clear with no moon. This was a 20 minute exposure using 400 speed color film. Roger is the physics teacher at Kewanee High School.

Click here to see the full 110 K jpg picture that was taken.

To display a one page poster of the full picture click here.


David Renneke and Mike Shaw, Dixon, Iowa, Apr. 7, 1997

This picture was taken at 10:08 pm CDT at the location of the St. Ambrose University Menke Observatory two miles north of Dixon, Iowa, using a 135 mm lens at f/4 on an SBIG ST-6 CCD camera guided by a telescope.

The sky was clear with no moon. The comet was a distance of 1.418 AU (131 million miles) from Earth and 0.922 AU (85 million miles) from the Sun. This was a 5 second exposure. False color was added to bring out the details. The size of the photo is 2.34 x 1.47 degrees.



4 sec exposure, 28 mm lens
8:48 pm, 11.48 x 7.14 deg

David Renneke and Mike Shaw, Dixon, Iowa, Apr. 7, 1997

These three pictures were also taken at the Menke observatory. We used a 28 - 85 mm zoom lens at f/4 on an SBIG ST-6 CCD camera guided by a telescope.

Note that the exposure time is much shorter (4 sec vs. 2 min) than for the pictures taken in the city on April 5 from the Augustana observatory as shown below.


4 sec exposure, 50 mm lens
8:53 pm, 6.38 x 4.00 deg


4 sec exposure, 85 mm lens
8:56 pm, 3.76 x 2.34 deg


2 min exposure, 28 mm lens
8:30 pm, 11.48 x 7.14 deg
Comet altitude = 18 deg

David Renneke and Mike Shaw, Rock Island, Illinois, Apr. 5, 1997

Shown above is the central part of three pictures taken in the Augustana Observatory using a Minolta zoom lens at f/4 on an SBIG ST-6 CCD camera guided by the 14" telescope. The sky was clear with no moon. The comet was observed from 7:05 - 10:20 pm. Its altitude at 10:20 was only 4.5 degrees. It set at 11:15 pm. The observatory was open to the public from 7:15 to 10:00 so many people looked directly at the comet's coma through the telescope and also saw the CCD images shown above on the computer screen right after they were downloaded. The comet was a distance of 1.398 AU (130 million miles) from Earth and 0.914 AU (85.4 million miles) from the Sun.

In the first photo, part of the telescope dew shield appears in the picture. Also, the light from downtown Rock Island is very evident at the bottom of the picture.


2 min exposure, 50 mm lens
8:40 pm, 6.38 x 4.00 deg


2 min exposure, 85 mm lens
7:56 pm, 3.76 x 2.34 deg



3 min exposure, 28 mm lens
8:40 pm, 11.26 x 7.07 deg

David Renneke and Mike Shaw, Dixon, Iowa, Mar. 31, 1997

Shown above is the central part of three pictures taken at the location of the St. Ambrose University Menke Observatory north of Dixon, Iowa, using a Minolta zoom lens at f/4 on an SBIG ST-6 CCD camera guided by a telescope.

The sky was clear with no moon. The comet was observed from 6:45 - 10:00 pm. The comet was a distance of 1.351 AU from Earth and 0.914 AU from the Sun. It was very close to perihelion.


1 min exposure, 50 mm lens
8:24 pm, 6.38 x 4.00 deg


20 sec exposure, 85 mm lens
8:08 pm, 3.76 x 2.34 deg


David Renneke, Milan, Illinois, Mar. 15, 1997

This picture was taken at 7:36 pm CST at a rural Milan site using an 85 mm lens set at f/4 on an SBIG ST-6 CCD camera guided by a telescope. This was a 1.8 second exposure. The size of the photo is 3.71 x 2.33 degrees.

There was a bright first quarter moon overhead. The comet was very easy to see with the naked eye for an hour and a half - from 6:45 - 8:15 pm. The comet was a distance of 1.33 AU from Earth and 0.958 AU from the Sun. The star at the bottom is Omicron-Andromeda which has a magnitude of 3.6.


David Renneke, Milan, Illinois, Mar. 10, 1997

This picture was taken at 7:02 pm CST (about 1 hour after sunset) at a rural Milan site using a Meade 8" telescope and an SBIG ST-6 CCD camera. This was a 0.2 second exposure. The size of the photo is 28' x 18' (arc minutes). False color was added to bring out the details.

The moon was a beautiful thin crescent in the west. The comet was very easy to see with the naked eye for over an hour, from 6:35 - 7:50 pm. The comet was a distance of 1.37 AU from Earth and 0.988 AU from the Sun.