Comet Hale-Bopp


Curtain call for Comet Hale-Bopp

Full picture - 17 K jpg

David Renneke
Milan, Illinois
May 15, 1997

This is the central part of a picture taken at 9:32 pm CDT at a rural Milan site using a Meade 8" telescope and an SBIG ST-6 CCD camera. This was a 15 second exposure. The size of the above photo is 14' x 9' (arc minutes). The altitude was only 3.7 degrees. The moon was 9 days old and shining brightly. The comet was seen briefly with binoculars at 9:20 pm and was photographed several times with the CCD from 9:23 to 9:42 pm. It set at 9:57 pm. Sunset was at 8:15 pm. The comet was a distance of 2.027 AU (187 million miles) from Earth and 1.205 AU (111 million miles) from the Sun. Click on full to see the entire 28' x 18' picture that was taken. In this full picture, based on the Hubble guide star CDROM catalog, the magnitude of the four stars below the comet range from 9.7 to 10.5.


20 sec exposure, 28 mm lens
9:55 pm, 5.74 x 5.56 deg
20 sec exposure, 50 mm lens
9:44 pm, 3.19 x 3.11 deg
20 sec exposure, 85 mm lens
9:48 pm, 1.88 x 1.82 deg

David Renneke
Milan, Illinois
May 9, 1997

Shown above is the comet part of three pictures taken at a rural Milan site. I used a 28 - 85 mm zoom lens at f/4 on an SBIG ST-6 CCD camera guided by a telescope. When you click on each picture above, you will see the full image which is twice as wide and 1.28 times as high as the one shown. At 9:48 pm the comet was a distance of 1.926 AU (178 million miles) from Earth and 1.142 AU (106 million miles) from the Sun. It was at an altitude of only 4.7 degrees.

The 28 mm full photo (11.3 x 7.1 degrees) shows light from the moon encroaching from the left side. The right side of this photo shows the trail of an airplane and light from the Quad Cities. The star near the top center of this photo is Elnath (Beta-Taurus) which has a magnitude of 1.7. With beautiful, clear skies, I watched the comet from 9:02 to 10:07 pm. It set at 10:19 pm.

Using the 85 mm lens at f/22, I also took this picture of the moon at 9:16 pm. The exposure time was 0.05 sec.

Larger size - 23 K jpg

David Renneke
Milan, Illinois
May 5, 1997

This picture was taken at 9:28 pm CDT at a rural Milan site 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. It was windy which definitely improved the low-altitute sky quality (no jet contrails). At this magnification vibration due to the wind was not a problem. The comet was a distance of 1.858 AU (172 million miles) from Earth and 1.103 AU (102 million miles) from the Sun. It was at an altitude of 8 degrees. This was a 20 second exposure. False color was added to bring out the details. The size of the photo is 2.34 x 1.47 degrees.


20 sec exposure, 28 mm lens
9:49 pm, 5.74 x 5.56 deg
20 sec exposure, 50 mm lens
9:43 pm, 3.19 x 3.11 deg
20 sec exposure, 85 mm lens
9:41 pm, 1.88 x 1.82 deg

David Renneke
Milan, Illinois
May 5, 1997

Shown above is the central part of three pictures taken at a rural Milan site. I used a 28 - 85 mm zoom lens at f/4 on an SBIG ST-6 CCD camera guided by a telescope. When you click on each picture above, you will see the full image which is twice as wide and 1.28 times as high as the one shown. The 28 mm picture also contains the trail of an airplane.
Full - 19 K jpg



Cecilia Vogel and David Renneke
Dixon, Iowa
April 25, 1997


This picture was taken at 9:40 pm CDT at the location of the St. Ambrose University Menke Observatory two miles north of Dixon, Iowa, using a 200 mm lens at f/4 on a 35 mm camera guided by a telescope. The film was Fujicolor 400. The sky was clear with no moon. The comet was a distance of 1.686 AU (156 million miles) from Earth and 1.016 AU (94 million miles) from the Sun. This was a 4 minute exposure. The size of the picture is 2.51 x 3.39 degrees. Click here to see the full picture that measures 6.40 x 4.13 degrees.


Last update: May 15, 1997