Hale-Bopp over Mauna Kea

April 16, 1997

This 90sec exposure of comet Hale-Bopp (to the right of the center) was obtained from the catwalk of the University of Hawaii 2.2m telescope of the telescope, using a very short focal length lens (18mm), which gives a huge field of view: Orion is at the top left corner, Aldebaran, the Hyades and the Pleiades at the center, and Perseus to the right. The twin domes of the two 10m Keck telescopes are brightly illuminated by the Moon, which was close to the Zenith (Keck-I is the one to the left; note that their home pages displays a very nice Hale-Bopp picture). The dark silhouette of the 8m Subaru is visible to the left, in front of the glow of the city of Kamuela. By the way: yes, these are clouds over Mauna Kea! Although this observatory is an excellent site, we lose some observing time because of the clouds: on Apr.16, the clouds moved away a couple of hours after sunset, and the remaining of the night was perfectly clear. Previous observers were not as lucky: several storms ruined several nights, covering the summit with snow, still visible on the slopes of a nearly volcanic cone.


If you want to observe Hale-Bopp yourself (you should, it is beautiful), maps and ephemerides are available on this site.
© 1997 O.Hainaut, IfA / UH --Please contact us if you want to copy these photos.
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Olivier Hainaut

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