Comet Hale-Bopp on April 6 (HST)

Here is a series of photos of Comet Hale-Bopp taken from the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, about 6 days after perihelion. The photos were taken at approximately 20:15 on 6 April HST (06:15 April 7 UT).

Watching Comet Hale-Bopp, under a palm tree at the beach. The tree is illuminated by a single high-pressure sodium lamp, located about 100 meters away. This short exposure freezes the tree, with relatively little blurring from sidereal tracking of the comet.

Technical information:

Camera: Mamiya 645 Pro Lens: 45mm f/2.8 (@f/2.8) Film: Fuji Provia 400

Wide view of Comet Hale-Bopp, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii.

Technical information:

Camera: Mamiya 645 Pro Lens: 80mm f/1.9 (@f/1.9) Film: Fuji Provia 400

Here is a close-up view of the comet. The diffuse dust tail and the narrower blue ion tail are both clearly visible. The ion tail is shaped by the solar wind and points almost directly away from the Sun. The dust tail has a more curved shape, caused by radiation pressure from the force of the light that the dust particles absorb. The dust particles follow trajectories that are a combination of their orbital inertia and the outward push from the sunlight.

Technical information:

Camera: Mamiya 645 Pro Lens: 150mm f/2.8 (@f/2.8) Film: Fuji Provia 400

Photographs by UH astronomer Richard J. Wainscoat

© 1997 Richard Wainscoat, All Rights Reserved. You may make a copy of these photos for personal or classroom use only. Please contact Richard Wainscoat ( if you want to use any of these photos for other purposes.
If you want to observe Hale-Bopp yourself (you should, it is beautiful), maps and ephemerides are available on this site.
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Creation: Fri Apr 11 18:20 1997 -- Hits: